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In Madrid Spain, police have arrested nine people accused of forcing Nigerian girls to work as prostitutes on the streets of Barcelona after telling them they had cast Voodoo spells on them.

A police statement released Friday says the nine detainees are all Nigerian and were arrested Tuesday after an investigation that began nine months ago.

According to the Catalonia region police department, the girls were smuggled into Madrid after being lured with bogus job offers and then forced to work off debts of up to €50,000 ($68,000) over the span of six months.

The gang trapped the girls through fear tactics, telling the victims that a Voodoo spell would cause terrible things to happen to them or their families if they did not keep silent about the smuggling ring and remain loyal to it.

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