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Spanish police smash huge vice ring

Spanish police have broken up a prostitution ring that operated six large brothels staffed with about 400 women and chalked up more than a million euros a year in earnings.

Spanish police smash huge vice ring
The women were fined €50 for resting without permission and between €150 and €200 for leaving the brothels without authorization. Photo:Quinn Dombrowski

The "macro brothels" were located in Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba and Huelva in the south-western region of Andalucía and each one generated yearly earnings for the group of €1.25 million ($1.63 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 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.

"The brothels, with a capacity to exploit around 400 women, had cash 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 for resting without permission and between €150 and €200 for leaving the brothels without authorization.

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POLICE

Spain’s Civil Guard police officers allowed to have visible tattoos

Spain on Monday relaxed its policy banning officers from the country's oldest police force, the Guardia Civil, from exhibiting tattoos.

civil guard spain gun
The increasing popularity of tattoos has led police forces around the world to regulate their use. Photo: Rafa Rivas/AFP

Officers will now be allowed to display tattoos anywhere on their bodies “as long as they do not contain expressions that violate constitutional values or harm the discipline or image of the force,” the interior minister said in a statement.

“For the first time visible tattoos will be allowed on uniformed officers,” it added.

On the other hand, the decree prohibits hoop earrings, spikes, plugs and other inserts when they are visible in uniform, “except regular earrings, for both male and female personnel”.

The Guardia Civil mainly patrols and investigates crimes in rural areas, while Spain’s National Police focuses on urban areas.

Last year Spain’s leftist government appointed a woman to head the force for the first time in its 177-year history.

The increasing popularity of tattoos has led police forces around the world to regulate their use.

Los Angeles police are required to ensure that tattoos are not visible to the public while on-duty, while France’s Gendarmes police force also requires that they be covered.

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