On Thursday a judge ordered an adult male to be imprisoned, who had been detained earlier this week, along with three minors, for causing significant damage to tourist apartments in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, Mogán. They had all been temporarily accommodated, as wards of the state, the responsibility of The Canary Islands Child Protection Services, under the care of an NGO association who have been dealing day-to-day with many of the unaccompanied minors to have landed on the shores of Gran Canaria by boat over the last few months.
The four migrants, who had only recently arrived by boat, three of them minors, were arrested for damage to rooms and communal areas in the apartment complex, usually occupied by tourists, in the southern resort town of Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, last Monday night, after the four individuals, all of Moroccan origin, began to throw electrical appliances, including a microwave, out on to the terraces in front of the building, smashing windows and damaging furniture in two of the apartment rooms of the Puerto Bello. They destroyed much of one communal bathroom in the complex, during a raucous altercation, which left local residents reeling at the noise and vandalism and some claiming to be “besieged”.
A video, shot by one of the hotel employees, has been widely distributed on social media, and repeatedly put forward as evidence of “constant mayhem” and “riots every night” suffered by local neighbours of the quiet residential street where the complex is located.
The Guardia Civil and the Mogán Policia Local were, in fact, deployed to the scene last Monday, where agents, several armed with helmets and perspex security shields, proceeded to arrest the four individuals who were at the core of this disturbance, three of them minors and one adult who, despite his clearly muscular physique and facial stubble, had been posing as a minor after claiming to be under 18-years of age when he first arrived at the port of Arguineguín a few weeks previously.
The main guard court of San Bartolomé de Tirajana has, this Thursday, ordered the adult male into prison. He is suspected to have led the altercation on Monday and possibly others previously, which had been a major cause of concern for monitors looking after the other children.
The events on Monday night followed at least two prior altercations, over the week leading up to the arrests, to which security forces, including members of the Guardia Civil, had been deployed to that same premises. It has not yet been clarified if the same adult male, now shown to have been pretending to be a minor, was also involved in these prior events, however sources consulted by The Canary News have made clear that the Puerto Bello apartments had been “quiet for the first two months” and said that they had not witnessed any similar incidents prior to the third week of January, when reports of increasing noise, usually at night, became more frequent. The suspicion is that new individuals arriving may have negatively influenced or changed the dynamic between the children being accommodated onsite and their carers from the NGO, which in turn led to an increase in undesirable and even violent behaviour.
Local residents will now be keen to find out whether further incidents occur, or indeed if the problem characters being removed from the situation has resolved the issues for the time being.