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Ukrainian refugees targeted by thieves in Alicante and Murcia


The Guardia Civil have arrested a criminal gang of ten people for robbing Ukrainian refugees in Alicante and Murcia provinces

Ten individuals of Russian and Ukrainian nationality have been arrested by the Guardia Civil for allegedly committing seven robberies at the homes of Ukrainian refugees in the provinces of Alicante and Murcia.

The group had targeted these victims who often carried all their savings and valuable belongings with them. The modus operandi of the criminal group included studying their victims’ routines, conducting follow-ups, and installing geolocation systems in their vehicles.

Once the movements of the victims were tracked, they used lock picks to gain access to their homes without causing any damage. A couple of Russian nationality and their son provided vehicles for the group to carry out the monitoring and robberies.

The value of all the effects stolen by the gang and recovered by the Guardia Civil amounts to 1,250,000 euros. The investigators have made seven records and recovered money, jewelry, electronic devices, geolocation elements, frequency inhibitors, tools, lock pick sets, and even a philatelic collection valued at half a million euros.

The detainees have been arrested for robbery with force and against the privacy of people, and the investigation remains open with new arrests and the location of more victims not ruled out.

Ukrainians in Spain

According to the Spanish Ministry of the Interior, more than 130 000 people who have fled the war in Ukraine since March 2022 have received temporary protection in Spain.

Temporary protection is granted by the Office of Asylum and Refugees (OAR), which belongs to the Ministry of Interior. Of these refugees from Ukraine, 65.5% are women and the majority are young: minors represent 36.1%, while people aged 19 to 35 account for 24.4%. In terms of geographical distribution, the majority of Ukrainian refugees in Spain were granted temporary protection in four main Autonomous Communities: Valencia (31 817), Catalonia (29 613), Madrid (19 609), and Andalusia (18 664).

Temporary protection entails being granted a residence permit and, for those of legal age, a work permit. The OAR, which celebrates its thirtieth anniversary this year, has so far processed 130 220 applications from people from Ukraine in 70 police stations and four reception centres throughout the country. All applications have been resolved within 24 hours.

This places Spain among the top temporary protection-granting countries for Ukrainian citizens.

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