The National Police have arrested a 54-year-old male of Yemeni nationality who, allegedly, kidnapped his two nieces seven years ago. He took them, unauthorised, when he left his homeland in 2014. One of them is a minor.
Police investigations began in September last year, when the coordinator of an NGO in the Murcian town of Cartagena, filed a complaint with the National Police. The NGO welcomes and provides international protection to people in situations of vulnerability or exclusion. They warned that four women of the family lived in full submission to the man.
Agents discovered that in March 2020, a man and four women of Yemeni origin, arrived in Spain through Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport. They moved to Murcia. The women consisted of two daughters – one a minor – and two nieces – one also a minor.
When questioned on the whereabouts of the mother of his daughters and the parents of his nieces, the man gave different versions.
In addition, the agents learned the four women only interacted with other women from the NGO. They were always in the presence of the man, needing his approval to answer the questions that were put to them.
From home visits, it was observed that basic foods such as legumes, cereals, fruit and others were stored in the male’s room. He was the one who managed and administered the food. The women showed signs of malnutrition and extreme thinness. Furthermore, the man removed from the house all televisions, radios and similar apparatus. He claimed the girls did not need to have any type of contact with the outside world.
Kidnapped seven years ago
Police checks determined the man left Yemen together with his daughters and nieces in 2014. Thus, he began a journey in which they toured different countries for years: Malaysia; South Korea, where he spent 15 days; Indonesia, where he stayed over a year; Ecuador, where he requested asylum and stayed for four months; Colombia, where they accepted his asylum and from where he left, after almost two years, for Turkey. In Turkey, when he went to the Yemeni consulate to renew his passport, they notified him there was a complaintgainst him for the kidnapping of his two nieces. To prevent the young women from being taken from him, he flew to Spain.
The agents, through INTERPOL, confirmed the mother of the two nieces, the wife of the suspect’s brother, was still looking for her daughters. Through the Interior Attaché at the Embassy of Spain in Saudi Arabia, the mother stated by videoconference that her brother-in-law kidnapped her daughters in 2014. She had not heard from them since. She also claimed she did not know where her brother-in-law obtained the financial means to survive.
Given the seriousness of the situation, the police requested a search warrant from the Court of Cartagena. The man was arrested and the four victims, who were inside the home, assisted.
During the search and arrest, about €5,000 in cash and approximately $2,500 were found. At the home, the agents verified the poor living conditions, windows lined with propaganda and unhygienic living conditions.