Greek police bust Dominican prostitution ring

ATHENS - Police in Greece on Friday said they had dismantled a major prostitution ring exploiting women and men from the Dominican Republic, arresting over a dozen suspects nationwide in an international operation.

Greek police spokesman Christos Parthenis said the swoop was an "important success" in "the battle against modern slavers."

The prostitution ring employed operatives in the Dominican Republic who lured low-income Dominicans to Spain with the promise of work, using Greece and Turkey as transit countries.

The organisation demanded a fee of 5,000 to 6,000 euros ($6,500-7,800) for the trip, but once the Dominicans reached Turkey their passports were confiscated and they were forced into prostitution or drug trafficking to pay for their accommodation.

Additional funds were extorted from the victims' families back home.

Police raids in the greater Athens area, central Greece, northern Greece, the Peloponnese and the island of Crete managed to free 14 women and six men.

Another 19 suspects are sought in Greece and abroad in connection with the case.

The police operation was carried out over several months with assistance from Spanish and US authorities, Parthenis said.