The National Police have detained five Bulgarian nationals for bringing minors from Bulgaria and forcing them to beg on the streets of Orihuela.
The children’s family came to Spain because of the precarious economic situation in their homeland but when they arrived their documents and passports were taken away and their children were forced to beg. The children, aged 12 and 16, have now been transferred into the care of social services.
The operation got underway last year in Murcia when agents from the Unit against Illegal Immigration (UCRIF) began their investigation into the Bulgarians who were thought to be exploiting fellow compatriots. They operated out of an abandoned house in Orihuela from where they regularly travelled to Bulgaria to entice their victims.
Once installed in the house in Orihuela they were forced to beg on Orihuela streets with any money they earned taken away. If they attempted to conceal any of their earnings or to escape they were violently beaten.
The police intervention resulted in the arrest of five people – three men and two women – all of Bulgarian nationality between the ages of 40 and 55.
The two minors were taken into custody and transferred to a juvenile centre.