Missing Dutch teens found in Portugal; Dutch-Moroccan man arrested
Femka Lucas and Sam Bruijs, missing from Bergen op Zoom since Tuesday, were found in Albufeira, Portugal on Saturday. They were with a 34-year-old Dutch-Moroccan man who lives in the Portuguese city, according to local media. He was arrested.
Omroep Brabant reports that the 16-year-old girls were found thanks to a tip from another Duttch man in Albufeira. He spotted the girls with the Moroccan-Dutch man on Friday night and called the police. The Dutch Prosecutor issued an European arrest warrant for the man based on the witness' description.
The girls were found around 4:00 p.m. on Saturday in the company of the Moroccan-Dutch man, who was arrested. According to the Dutch police, he is suspected of ilegally removng the two teenagers from their parents' custody. According to Portuguese newspaper, the man claims he only met the girls the night before and that he was the one who called the police.
At this stage there is no evidence that the teenagers left the Netherlands against their will. They will be questioned by the Dutch authorities.
The suspect will be extradited to the Netherlands, police spokesperson Mireille Aalders said to Omroep Brabant. He will be arraigned in Portugal, where he can decide whether he will be extradited voluntarily or whether he will fight the extradition in court. "He formally has the right to appeal against the Portuguese judge. It will take a while before he gets here." Aalders said to the broadcaster.
Sam and Femke disappeared on Tuesday. They traveled from their hometown of Bergen op Zoom to Eindhoven Airport, where they took a plane to Spain. They were seen getting on a bus at the airport of Malaga on surveillance camera footage. They were also later spotted in Marbella.
A spokesperson for the municipality of Bergen op Zoom told Omroep Brabant on Sunday that the girls and their fathers, who went to Spain then Portugal to look for their daughters, will "soon" be traveling back to the Netherlands. According to Hart van Nederland, they are already on their way.