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Spanish authorities arrest 19 suspected in prostitution smuggling ring

LLEIDA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 28:  Three prostitutes wear reflective vests as they walk along a road on October 28, 2010 near Els Alamus in Lleida, Spain. Prostitutes working near a highway roundabout near Els Alamus have this month started to wear the reflective jackets to avoid fines of 40 Euros following a police crackdown. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

LLEIDA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 28: Three prostitutes wear reflective vests as they walk along a road on October 28, 2010 near Els Alamus in Lleida, Spain. Prostitutes working near a highway roundabout near Els Alamus have this month started to wear the reflective jackets to avoid fines of 40 Euros following a police crackdown. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)  (2010 Getty Images)

Spanish police say they have arrested 19 people suspected of smuggling Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian women into the country for the purpose of prostitution.

Police say women were enticed from various locations in Russia through travel agencies or adverts for jobs abroad and flown into the European Union's borderless Schengen zone using different airports and false passports that included Spanish, Finnish and Dutch tourist visas.

They were then allegedly forced to work in nightclubs.

A police statement on Saturday added that 16 other people were charged and four nightclubs in the southern Mediterranean coastal city of El Ejido closed.

El Ejido overlooks Spain's largest expanse of greenhouse-based agriculture.

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