Nine young women led from a suspected brothel in Birmingham were working voluntarily as prostitutes, police said yesterday.

The women, all from Eastern Europe and mostly in their early 20s, were led from premises in Hagley Road, Edgbaston.

It had been feared they were "trafficked women" being forced to work as sex slaves. But yesterday West Midlands Police said they were working of their own volition in the sex industry.

A spokesman said: "Last night, as a result of information, officers went to premises where it was suspected trafficked women were working as part of the sex trade and removed nine women who originate from Eastern Europe.

"The women had not been subject to human trafficking and had come to the UK to work of their own volition.

"However, this operation sends a clear message that West Midlands Police is doing all it can to protect vulnerable people and to make it a hostile place for those involving themselves in human trafficking."

Police yesterday bailed a 42-year-old woman arrested on suspicion of managing a brothel after questioning her for several hours.

Eight of the women found in the premises on Monday evening are from Romania and the ninth is from Poland. They are aged 19 to 28.

Police swooped on the building, between a Cantonese restaurant and a betting shop, shortly before 7pm. A sign outside says Studio 189. Yesterday it was locked up. The women removed from the premises were yesterday being interviewed by police and Immigration Service Officials.