Couple allegedly agreed to sell their daughter for money, whisky and animals
POLICE in Spain have arrested a Romanian couple suspected of agreeing to sell their teenage daughter for €3,500, 100 bottles of whisky, two sheep and a pig.
The sale is said to have been agreed as a part of a dowry deal between two Roma gypsy families ahead of the 15-year-old's arranged marriage to a 16-year-old living in Asturias, northern Spain.
The unnamed couple were held in the holiday resort of Almunecar near the southern Spanish city of Granada.
They have been released on bail pending further inquiries.
Their daughter and a 13-year-old cousin warned she would be married off when she turned 15 whose parents have also been quizzed, have been taken into care by social services.
Social workers called in police after being tipped-off by a well-wisher and discovering the girls were at risk during an interview.
The wedding of the 15-year-old is understood to have been scheduled for May.
The teenage boy's family were reportedly going to pay for the wedding venue, the meal and a musical group as well as the bride's wedding dress.
The dowry was to be paid in two parts, the cash payment first followed by the whisky and the animals.
The girls' parents told investigators that arranged marriages are part of their cultures.
Regional equality minister Maria Jose Sanchez Rubio confirmed that the two teenagers had been taken into care at their own request and were now being cared for at a specialist centre.
She said: "It's important because it enables the authorities to activate the protection protocols for children whatever their nationality.
"We now have to see how this case evolves."
A spokesman for the Guardia Civil in Granada said: "We don't make any comment in cases where minors are involved."
A source said: "Four people, including the parents of a teenage girl being prepared for an arranged marriage, have appeared in court as part of a human trafficking probe."