Spanish police have arrested a 45-year-old Ukrainian man in the southeastern region of Murcia on suspicion of grooming and abusing the children of fellow refugees from Ukraine.
A police operation was launched after a woman approached a refugee charity and raised suspicions about a neighbour who she believed was sexually abusing her two children.
Support workers later accompanied the Ukrainian mother to a police station in the city of Cartagena to report what the woman had said.
Police later received complaints from two more Ukrainian mothers about the man’s behaviour.
The Ukrainian man was arrested by officers in the town La Seu d’Urgell from where it was suspected he intended to flee Spain.
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At the time of the arrest, police seized a pair of sunglasses containing a hidden inbuilt camera as well as four mobile phones.
The items have been taken to be forensically examined as the police investigation continues.
Spain’s Asylum and Refuge Office granted 161,037 asylum requests from refugees fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The country is the fifth-highest recipient of Ukrainian refugees in Europe.
Spain’s Prosecutor’s Office has released a report warning of the risk of vulnerable refugees becoming victims of abuse and sex trafficking
A report published by the Prosector Office stated: “The statistical number of [minors] who have been at risk in 2022 has increased by 15.96 percent compared to 2021, this increase being attributed to the arrival of minors due to the war conflict in Ukraine.”
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