MADRID – 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.