Sure, Magaluf is stunning, but it has a very seedy side.
Sure, Magaluf is stunning, but it has a very seedy side.

The wild party resort that will ‘eat you alive’

EACH year thousands of young tourists head to this resort town for what is dubbed the "ultimate" summer experience - a chance to work in Europe's wildest holiday destination.

And if you believe the online recruitment ads - which boast of €100 ($A160) a day pay for four- to six-hour shifts - why wouldn't you packs your bags?

But the glitzy, fun-packed strip at Magaluf, Spain, hides a terrifying underbelly where those searching for the "Love Island dream" end up as "sex trophies" in a resort fuelled by drink and drugs.

Before they know it, scores of naive youngsters are conned into handing over their passports and turned into modern slaves, living in slum housing with no way of escaping.

The problem has become so bad the UK Government has issued stark warnings to young Brits, who make up the majority of those affected, that they could face jail if they work as touts and reps outside the bars and clubs on the resort's Strip.

And a probe by the Foreign Office lifted the lid on unscrupulous club owners who pay rock bottom wages and charge huge fees for Brits living in squalid apartments.

The Sun has spoken to many of those working in the Majorcan resort and they tell of:

• Scams where bar reps and touts work for nothing.

• Skint workers ending up in jail after dealing drugs.

• Passports being seized by bullying landlords.

• Young workers being pressured to sleep with bosses.

• Employers "encouraging" drug abuse at work.

• Workers sharing dirty two-bed flats with 10 others.

• Teen girls degrading themselves for €2 ($A3) tips.

Women often end up as ‘sex trophies’. Picture: The Sun
Women often end up as ‘sex trophies’. Picture: The Sun


When top student Helen left her home for Magaluf she genuinely believed she was heading on a working holiday of a lifetime. Weeks later the 19-year-old returned, broke and ashamed of the things she had witnessed in the notorious resort.

Helen - not her real name - revealed: "I didn't really do any planning … I knew there would always be touting jobs for clubs so I wasn't that worried. Another girl put me in touch with a local Spanish man who worked for a few of the clubs.

"I was told I would have to work a week in advance and give him my passport as a deposit for my accommodation … foolishly I agreed.

"Things came to a head when I went to collect my wages only to be told I wasn't bringing in enough punters and had earned nothing.

"I had been conned. I had worked five days for nothing. It was basically slave labour. I was left skint. I asked for my passport and he said I could have it back once I had completed my first month's work.

"I spent most of the next 10 days in tears just counting down the days 'til I could go home.

"My parents eventually paid for my flight after I told them I was missing home. I was too embarrassed to tell them what had happened."

Magaluf is a popular holiday destination.
Magaluf is a popular holiday destination.


Helen described how some of the bars were like Roman orgies.

"Drugs were commonplace and girls were doing disgusting things - just to get a free drink," she said.

"One game was called 'erection perfection' where girls have to lap dance for naked boys. If one of the boys doesn't get aroused his girl has to do a forfeit.

"The prize for the winning girls was a €2 ($A3) shot," revealed one rep.

The Sun has already revealed how some hard-up girls flogging shots in Magaluf let leering blokes lick their bare breasts or grope them so they buy more booze.

"It was hard to compete with some of the other touts as they would go out in just their knickers, bra and heels. These were the girls who would do anything for commission," revealed the insider.


Another girl, Jazmin, 20, worked on a yacht which catered to wealthy businessmen visiting both Magaluf and the island's capital Palma.

"I worked as a hostess on a yacht for three months," she said. "I was told that if I wanted the job and then wanted to be paid I would have to have sex with the captain.

"I was broke and so I agreed. Finally, I quit after I just couldn't take it anymore but I felt pressure into having a lot of sex with him during the job.

"Looking back I can see how stupid that was but I didn't know what I was doing or who to turn to."

Tourists flock here searching for the ‘Love Island dream’. Picture: The Sun
Tourists flock here searching for the ‘Love Island dream’. Picture: The Sun


A former bar hostess who survived a season in the wild resort said it can break you - but it doesn't have to. Lifestyle blogger Alex Serruys spent a summer working on the notorious Strip after joining up with a friend.

She revealed: "I knew I didn't want the hassle of being a rep. Luckily I found a job as a bar hostess on my fourth attempt."

The Spanish speaker said she was expected to work six days a week from 7pm to 3am or 4am in infamous BCM Square.

"You are meant to wear shorts and a bikini top but I refused. Unfortunately, other girls weren't so forceful," she said. "I always made it clear when I thought someone was crossing the line. My bosses would then move the pests on."

However, Alex, now 24, said some workers did not stand up for themselves - and got themselves in some sticky situations.

"Magaluf is a seedy place and there are some seedy people. Not everybody can survive in an environment like that," she said. "I heard the stories of people having their passports taken away but I just thought who would be naive enough to fall for that?

"At the end of the day, Magaluf is the kind of place that can eat you alive, but only if you let it. I am glad I did it, but I wouldn't do it now."

It can eat you alive if you let it. Picture: Alex Diaz/PA Wire
It can eat you alive if you let it. Picture: Alex Diaz/PA Wire


Many who spoke to The Sun claimed they had been scammed by recruitment companies and experienced conditions akin to "modern slavery".

Some had paid over $1700 to these firms on the promise of a "luxury" apartment and a contracted job on arrival - only to find themselves living in dreadful conditions and being paid $6 an hour.

One girl who was told she would be sharing a unit with three other girls in quieter Palmanova was then expected to share a room with a man in the heart of Magaluf. Others told us how they were looking forward to moving into their own apartment but found themselves sharing dirty and cramped rooms with up to 10 others.

Many were told to give up their passports to their landlords - which is illegal.


Beware of passport scams.
Beware of passport scams.


While spending the evening on the notorious Strip in the party resort, The Sun also spoke with a number of girls, only 16 and 17 years of age

Amy Anderson (not her real name) worked in one of the restaurants near BCM Square, in the heart of Magaluf.

"I was paid only €50 ($A80) a day - so just €5 ($A8) an hour," she revealed.

"We got a new manager and he just started to hire girls that he thought were hot.

"He used to tell me to wear more make-up to work and wanted the girls to dress more sexy, to wear less. If someone slapped your bum or whatever (we were told) it didn't matter."

It’s a wild spot, that’s for sure. Picture: The Sun
It’s a wild spot, that’s for sure. Picture: The Sun


Others told how their bosses turned a blind eye to them taking drugs - because they knew it helped them cope with the long hours.

Harry George, 17, previously worked in two restaurants in Magaluf. The first hired him for a trial and then refused to pay him for the night he worked.

He was shocked when working at a second similar diner to find its owners openly allowing staff members to take cocaine and other drugs on shift to keep their energy levels up. He left after also being refused permission have lunch or a break during an eight- or nine-hour shift.

Harry revealed: "A month ago I saw this kid lost on the beach crying and he said he was looking for his phone," Harry said, "and he asked me for help.

"He said he had come to work here on trial in Magaluf for a week and he told me that on the transfer another employee had stolen his fanny pack with his money and passport in.

"The company didn't pay him anything and he was there all by himself, he had no one."


It’s a notorious spot for bar crawls. Picture: PA Video/PA Wire
It’s a notorious spot for bar crawls. Picture: PA Video/PA Wire

This story originally appeared on The Sun and was republished with permission.

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