Parents arrested over selling daughter for a van and €5,000

The Spanish Civil Guard has arrested parents who are suspected of selling their 14-year-old daughter for €5,000 and a van.

Parents arrested over selling daughter for a van and €5,000
A Spanish Civil Guard patrol car. Photo: Outisnn / Wikimedia Commons.

As El Pais reported on Wednesday, the investigation began on April 19th after the parents from Pedrera in fact reported their daughter missing. 

After taking statements from various witnesses, the Civil Guard started to suspect that the girl had possibly been sold by her parents, who are Romanian, to another Romanian man who was living in Lucena del Puerto.

The Civil Guard then started to search for the girl, first within Spain, then elsewhere in Europe, until they were able to locate her in Obrežje, Slovenia.

The girl was found travelling towards Romania with an older man with the initials V.M., whose father allegedly bought her. Investigators believe that the man’s father had arranged with the girl’s parents to buy her for his son, in exchange for €5,000 and a van.

Sources close to the case told El Pais that the parents only went to the police after the buyer did not pay out the total amount they wanted.

The Civil Guard was then able bring the girl back to Spain.

The agents then requested from Spanish judicial authorities a European order to detain V.M., who was then arrested in Romania in May. He faces charges of human trafficking, sexual abuse of a minor under 16, and inducing a minor to abandon home.

The girl’s parents as well as the father of V.M. have also been arrested and charged with human trafficking.


Spain police start wearing bodycams to boost security

Spanish police have begun wearing body cameras to record their interactions with the public in a move aimed at ensuring greater security that is gaining ground in Europe and the US.

Spain police start wearing bodycams to boost security

The interior ministry said the bodycam was launched Monday and would be “rolled out on a gradual basis to all police officers”, without saying how many were involved in the initial stages.

Spain’s TVE public television said the tiny cameras were being attached to the officers’ uniforms and could be activated either manually or automatically.

The main Spanish police union JUPOL hailed the move on Twitter, saying it was in response to “a request that the union has been making”.

“It will guarantee security, both for us to avoid any kind of misrepresentation of our interventions, as well as for the public, who will be able to clearly see the police’s professionalism and that there is no abuse of power nor excesses,” union spokesman Pablo Pérez told TVE.

Forces in Europe and the United States are increasingly turning to such technology to boost transparency following a string of fatal shootings and other claims against police over the past decade.

“The cameras are being used under public safety protocols in order to record everything that happens in the event of an unwarranted offence during an operation,” Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande Marlaska told TVE ahead of the rollout.

“If they are activated, it is to guarantee security and really be transparent so that the officers’ actions can be seen and checked,” the minister said.

“This means security for both the police and the public,” he added, suggesting that in time, they would also be available to Spain’s Guardia Civil rural police force.

France began trialling bodycams, known as “pedestrian cameras”, in 2013
before a gradual rollout in 2015 in a move welcomed by police, but greeted with scepticism by rights groups who said there was no guarantee they would be always activated.

Police in London and New York also began pilot schemes in 2014 with credit-card-sized cameras clipped onto their uniforms with the technology gradually deployed over the following years.

But the cameras have had mixed success. The absence of any legal obligation governing their use can also limit their scope to uncover police misconduct.