The parents had a “mental illness” and were wanted by European authorities on suspicion of kidnapping a minor.
Spanish authorities said on Saturday that they had arrested a French couple for planning to “sacrifice” their five-year-old son, whom they believed was “possessed” in the Sahara Desert.
The couple was arrested on December 21 at the port of Algeciras in southern Spain as the family was about to board a ferry to Tangier, Morocco. AFP report.
The Guardia Civil Police said in a statement that it had arrested a “couple of French descent” who “intended to kill their five-year-old son in the Sahara desert, believing him to be possessed.”
Both parents suffered from “mental illness” and were the subject of a European arrest warrant for the abduction of a minor, police added.
A Spanish judge remanded the couple’s custody, but the child was found to be in good health and was sent to a minors reception center before being returned to France.
These types of cases have resurfaced after more than a decade, as cases of child trafficking for victimization in other countries were so prevalent in 2012 and the years before.
according to standardcites a 10-month investigation by Scotland Yard leaked in 2012 that found boys from Africa were being brought to London churches as ritual human sacrifices by fundamentalist Christian sects.
Believers believe the “unblemished” baby boy had to die due to a powerful spell and is believed to have been trafficked from cities such as Kinshasa for as little as £10.
The report also cited examples of African children being tortured and killed after being identified as “witches” by church pastors.
The study was commissioned after the death of Victoria Climbier, who was starved and bludgeoned to death after being said to have been possessed by a demon.
The Met’s research aimed to create an “open dialogue” with Newham and Hackney’s African and Asian communities.
During discussions with African community leaders, police officers were told of cases in which children were murdered because their parents or caregivers were believed to be possessed by evil spirits.