A Colombian Instagram star known as ‘La Madame’ is on trial after prosecutors have accused her of smuggling heroin and forcing young girls into a shadowy underground sex-trafficking ring.
La Madame, aka Liliana del Carmen Campos Puello, is a well-known Colombian socialite and Instagram influencer who makes a fortune selling racy photos of herself on social media.
But beneath the flashy exterior it has been alleged that Ms Campos Puello also runs a double life as a pimp, supplying victims to high-profile clients including politicians, celebrities and senior law enforcement officials.
She was arrested last year along with 17 others as part of a high-profile police sting known as ‘Operation Vesta’ and is currently being held in a detention centre awaiting trial.
Arrests came after police made a series of dramatic raids on a child prostitution ring at the Colombian resort of Cartegena, where over 250 underage girls were being held captive – with some being ‘branded’ with tattoos by their ‘owners’.
It is alleged that the girls were lured to the resort under the pretense of becoming models.
Campos Puello is alleged to have played a major role in recruiting the girls, who mostly come from lower economic backgrounds.
The allegations suggest she used her status as a social media darling to promise them fame and fortune, and to help them secure passports and the necessary funds to make the trip to Cartagena, under the guise of securing them modelling contracts.
However, upon arrival at the resort the girls were stripped of their passports and possessions and forced into a life of sexual slavery, being pressured into attending sex parties at high-profile hotels and yachts.
In an interview conducted from prison, Ms Campos Puello has denied the charges, claiming: “‘Never, never have there been minors involved.”
She also has a record for smuggling heroin and entering the United States illegally.
The trial is currently ongoing.