Thomas Brooke, Remix, December 2, 2023
An illegal Moroccan immigrant has been arrested for sexually assaulting three children between the ages of five and seven on the Spanish island of Lanzarote, local police confirmed on Friday.
The assaults date back to an incident on Nov. 20 when the 30-year-old suspect allegedly approached the minors in the street and kissed them on the mouth whilst grabbing their necks, according to a report by Spanish news outlet La Gaceta.
The father of two of the victims told police his sons had been playing with a friend when they were accosted by the man.
Authorities were dispatched to the scene upon receipt of the complaint to locate the suspect but he had fled the scene.
However, one of the children the following day spotted the man who was wearing the same clothes as the previous day, prompting the father to call the police and detain the man until the authorities arrived and arrested him.
It later transpired at the police station that the Moroccan had arrived on the island illegally and had no right to reside in Spain. He was subsequently charged with three counts of sexual assault and placed in pre-trial detention.
Lanzarote, much like the other Canary Islands, has become a hotspot for illegal migrants attempting to reach the European Union as tightened on-land border security has led to an influx in amphibious beach landings on the Spanish archipelago.
In October, the islands recorded over a third of its total illegal arrivals for the entire year as 8,500 people reached Spanish shores from the African mainland in the first two weeks of the month.
The Spanish Police Confederation said at the time that it had concerns over public safety due to an insufficient number of patrol cars as all of its staff were being diverted to assist new arrivals.
The Canaries have now received a record number of illegal migrants in a single year, surpassing 2006 when almost 32,000 new arrivals were recorded.
President of the Canary Islands Fernando Clavijo said the figures “define the humanitarian emergency facing the Canaries”.