ONE of the biggest-ever police operations against human trafficking in the Murcia region has produced 22 arrests.

19 women were freed by the Policia Nacional.

They acted on a victim’s complaint that she was forced into prostitution and was a virtual prisoner in an apartment, which doubled up as a brothel.

The criminal gang flew over young women from Brazil, Columbia, Panama, and Venezuela with promises of good jobs in Spain.

On arrival, taxis operated by gang members took them to brothels in Alcantarilla and Murcia City.

The women were told they had to earn money as sex workers to pay off their air fare with the criminals taking a large commission.

They were also forced to sell drugs to clients.

Victims were kept ‘under control’ with threats of violence if they dared to report what was going on to the police and their passports were taken away.

One of the people running the brothels was a Brazilian woman.

She along with 21 of her colleagues have been charged with human trafficking; prostitution; drug trafficking; breaking workers’ rights; money laundering and belonging to a criminal organisation.

Police seized €4,500 in cash; drugs; and five cars used as ‘taxis’ to ferry around the victims and to carry drugs.

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