Spain police smash ring that ran six large brothels

MADRID (AFP) - Spanish police have broken up a prostitution ring that operated six large brothels staffed with about 400 women that had their own automated teller machines to facilitate payments, police said Monday.

The "macro brothels" were located in Seville, Cadiz, Cordoba and Huelva in the southwestern region of Andalucia and each one generated yearly earnings for the group of 1.25 million euros (S$2 million), police said in a statement.

Police detained 36 people, mostly Spanish nationals, across the country and seized nine high-end vehicles, several jewels and luxury watches, a revolver and 250,000 euros in cash as part of the operation.

Spanish authorities have also frozen assets belonging to the suspects, including 57 homes, 56 cars and a boat, worth over 14 million euros.

"The brothels, with a capacity to exploit around 400 women, had automatic teller machines and their own electronic payment systems linked to companies that belonged to group's networks of firms," the statement said.

The brothels also provided clients with drugs.

The women who worked at the brothels had to turn over part of their earnings to the ring.

They were fined 50 euros for resting without permission and between 150 and 200 euros for leaving the brothels without authorisation.

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