Spanish authorities have dismantled a sex trafficking gang that recruited Romanian women under the guise of finding them love overseas before forcing them into prostitution.
In cooperation with the authorities in Romania, Czech Republic, Switzerland and the UK, the Spanish police arrested seven suspects in Spain while another seven were arrested in Romania.
A National Police spokesperson told Central European News (CEN) that 10 women have been freed, including six in Spain – four in Valencia and two in Girona in Catalonia where the gang was based.
Local media said that some of the women were even traded among gang members for 6,000 EUR (5,230 GBP).
The victims were driven from Romania to Spain and other European countries such as Italy, UK, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Denmark and Germany, according to reports.
They were recruited under the pretext that they were going to meet up with a love interest in the country before being forced into prostitution, according to reports.
Local media said the gang used fake companies to launder the money they made from the victims before treating themselves to homes, cars and expensive jewellery.
The international operation resulted in the raid of six properties in Romania and five in Spain with the arrest of 14 suspects.
The authorities reportedly seized over 5,000 EUR (4,360 GBP) in cash as well as five luxury cars, jewellery, knives, mobile phones and documentation.
The investigation continues.