Spain takes down Chinese sex-trafficking rings

Madrid, July 2 (IANS/EFE) Spanish police Monday busted two rival Chinese prostitution rings that operated in Madrid and kept 25 women.

In the operation, 26 people were arrested in Spain – 25 of them Chinese – as well as another 25 people who were collaborating with one of the networks in France, Spanish National Police director Jose Ignacio Cosido said.

The women were brought from China to Spain after paying 14,000 euros ($18,288) and being promised that they were going to work in hair styling salons with a monthly salary of 4,000 euros ($5,225), but once they were in Madrid they were kept locked up in rooms 6 meters square with no windows and forced to engage in prostitution 24 hours a day, Cosido said.

The transfer of the women from China to Spain was made directly by air or through countries bordering the European Union, like Turkey, from where they entered Greece on foot. In both cases, the networks provided false visas for the women.

The victims had to work as prostitutes for at least a year and pay the organization 40 percent of their earnings.

In addition, they had to dress and behave as ordered, and were forced to pay very high fines if they did not comply.

The investigators said that the financial framework of the organizations was dismantled with the seizing of 11 properties valued at 3 million euros ($3.9 million) and the freezing of 41 bank accounts.

During the course of the operation, police raided 16 houses in Madrid, seizing cash, drugs, weapons and four vehicles.



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