MADRID -- Spain's Interior Ministry says police have arrested 17 people on suspicion of smuggling Nigerian women into Spain and forcing them into prostitution using threats including claims they would cast Voodoo spells on them if they didn't comply.

An investigation began when police detected in January that around 10 women had been brought into the country illegally using a small boat.

Police said that following an investigation its raids seized computer equipment, mobile phones, false identity and work permit documents, as well as objects which detectives said were allegedly used in "Voodoo rituals."

Officers tracked down the suspected pimps in cities throughout Spain and arrested 16 Nigerian nationals and one Ugandan citizen, a statement released Sunday said. It was not clear when the arrests took place.



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