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Miami couple accused of human trafficking and prostitution of two Cuban women

Miami police arrested Luis Ariel Escalante and Vicenta Polanco, a couple accused of human trafficking and sexual exploitation of two Cuban women

Luis Ariel Escalante y Vicenta Polanco arresto por presunto tráfico humano | Shutterstock

May 1, 2024 2:44pm

Updated: May 2, 2024 8:52am

Miami police arrested Luis Ariel Escalante and Vicenta Polanco on Wednesday as part of an investigation involving human trafficking and sexual exploitation of two Cuban women.

The defendants visited the victims, whose identity was not revealed, in Cuba, where they promised to bring them illegally to the United States and employ them as exotic dancers in strip clubs.

According to the police report, once the victims crossed the border, the couple stripped them of their Cuban identification documents and passports, stating that it was a requirement to "safeguard" them while they managed their legal immigration process.

Women were forced into prostitution through online advertisements on websites dedicated to sexual activity. Both were forced to work up to seven days a week, serving between four and five "clients" a day.

Escalante and Polanco provided the victims with an apartment where they worked as prostitutes, and when they had to go see a client, Escalante was the one who took them in his car.

According to the police investigation, the women, in an attempt to recover their documents, went to Escalante and Polanco's apartment, located at 811 NW 43 Street in Miami, but the couple refused to give them to them, claiming that they had to settle a debt of between 10,000 and 12,000 dollars.

It was then, the policy say, that the victims contacted the authorities, who unleashed an operation that ended with the arrest of Escalante and Polanco, as well as the seizure of key evidence: large sums of cash, electronic devices and an envelope with the name of a of the victims written on the outside with money inside.

Escalante and Polanco currently face charges of human trafficking, obtaining income from prostitution and other serious accusations.