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5 arrested in Spain for male prostitution ring

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Male prostitution ring broken in Spain
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Spanish National Police announced the arrests Tuesday
  • The arrests took place in central Madrid
  • 14 people were arrested as part of the investigation last week
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Madrid, Spain (CNN) -- Spanish police said Tuesday they have arrested five more people in connection with a male prostitution ring involving trafficked men.

The five were arrested for crimes related to prostitution and the rights of employees, the Spanish National Police said in a statement.

The arrests took place at three male brothels in central Madrid, police said.

Last week, police announced the arrest of 14 people as part of the investigation into an organization dedicated to the sexual exploitation of men, the first bust of its kind in Spain. The men had all been trafficked from Brazil.

One of those trafficked was a 16-year-old Brazilian boy who was found to have performed sexual services for the organization for almost three weeks, Spanish police said Tuesday. His pictures were on a website for the brothel where he was working, they said.

Police said the ringleaders picked up 60 to 80 men in Brazil and gave them each a travel bag and an airline ticket.

The men were lied to about the work they would be doing and the money they would be making, police said. Initially they were told they would have to pay back only the cost of the airline ticket, but instead they were asked for amounts exceeding 4,000 euros ($5,066), police said.

The leader of the ring, based in Palma, sent the men to various brothels, gave them cocaine, poppers -- alkyl nitrites that produce a rush when inhaled -- and Viagra, and put them to work as male prostitutes, police said. The network advertised in newspapers and on websites that displayed the men's photographs, police said.

The websites offered different sexual services in both the brothel or at private homes and hotels, police said Tuesday.

Investigators have also found that the trafficked men remained at each brothel for about 21 days and were available to clients 24 hours a day. In each house was an average of eight to 10 men, the vast majority of Brazilian origin, police said.

The men were forced to give up half of their earnings in addition to daily expenses of up to 200 euros (about $250), police said. If the men complained, the network resorted to threats, including the threat of death, police said.

The leader of the organization, known as "Lucas," was arrested in the first phase of the operation. He was responsible for knowing the situation of each man and obtained their payments through bank transfers, police said Tuesday.

The investigation, initiated by the Immigration Networks and Falsified Documents Unit of the National Police of Granada, included similar units in the Balearic Islands, Barcelona, Alicante and Leon as well as Brazil's Interior Ministry.

CNN's Laura Perez Maestro in London, England, contributed to this report.