Spanish police smash biggest sex ring ever

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The operation had 400 women retained and 76 charged with trafficking and breaking immigration laws.

9 April 2008

MADRID - The Spanish police announced Tuesday that they had busted a prostitution ring run by Russians, detaining 400 women and charging 76 people with crimes such as sex trafficking and breaking Spain's immigration laws. It is the biggest sex ring ever uncovered by police in Spain.

The prostitution ring was led by Russian-Spanish couples, both married and cohabitating, according to the police.

The Russian women had been brought into the country to offer sexual services to clients in Spain and elsewhere in the European Union. The women worked in brothels and were forced to live in cramped conditions. The brothels were located in the Andalusian and Catalonian provinces of Almería, Granada, Lérida and Gerona.

The police operation, which was codenamed Zarpa, began in November 2006. Authorities believe that the ring had illegally transferred over EUR 2 million from its illicit sex-trade operations to Russia.

In order to elude tax officials in both countries, money transfers to Russia never totalled more than EUR 3,000.

In conjunction with the bust, the police also charged 60 women in Almería province for breaking Spain's immigration laws.

[El Pais / Expatica]

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