A Bilbao-based Chinese prostitution gang that banked an estimated €5 million has been smashed by the Policia Nacional.
63 people have been arrested- 61 of whom are Chinese nationals.
50 of the detentions were in the northern city of Bilbao.
Five women were freed after being flown from China to Spain with bogus promises of good jobs.
The victims paid up to €10,000 for their passage but on arrival were held in apartments and told that they owed more money.
They were forced to work round-the-clock as prostitutes and kept in cramped apartments in Bilbao, Madrid and Zaragoza.
The exploited women were also told to sell drugs to their clients.
Money earned was handed over to the gang who kept piling up excessive interest rates on the fictional debts.
The women’s passports were taken away and victims who spoke up against the criminal activity were drugged.
A tip-off resulted in police raiding 15 addresses.
Over €115,000 in cash was seized along with drugs.
The gang-leader in Spain was a Chinese woman but the Policia Nacional believe she answered to superiors in her native country.
The criminals used dozens of shell companies and properties for their operation which included money laundering and the issuing of fake residency and work papers for their victims.