Spanish police believe an isolated house in the Girona region was used as an illegal detention centre for difficult children. Officers arrested three people who admitted locking up some of the youngsters in animal cages and denying them food.
For the past two years they are believed to have taken in Swiss teenagers sent to the centre in Girona by their parents, who paid up to 4,000 euros a month for the privilege. Those who fought or refused to work were put in cages designed for wild pigs. Police were alerted after one of the teenagers escaped. The three adults – one Swiss, one French and one Italian – who ran the centre have denied physical abuse. The leader, Armin Markus, claims the youngsters were free to come and go and simply looked after the garden and animals.