Missing Dutch youngsters “found in Albufeira” following Facebook appeal

Another triumph for social media came over the weekend when two Dutch teens, missing from their homes in the town of Bergen op Zoom were found safe and well in Albufeira.

An appeal sent out over Facebook helped power the hunt, which ended on Saturday afternoon near a hotel complex.

The 16-year-old girls, Femke Lucas and Sam Bruilis, were found in the company of a 34-year-old man with dual Moroccan-Dutch nationality.

According to reports, the man claimed only to have met the girls the night before, but the story does not check out and he is facing extradition back to Holland.

Meantime, the two girls have been returned to their home country and the family which relied on social media to get the story ‘out’, are now asking for privacy.

What led to the youngsters’ flight is uncertain.

Stories suggest they were under no obvious pressure to leave home.

CCTV cameras caught them catching a flight from Eindhoven to Malaga (Spain) on what should have been a normal school day.

They left behind their mobile phones and their computers.

“The girls then went to Marbella and afterwards travelled to Albufeira”, reports national tabloid Correio da Manhã.

In all, they were ‘missing’ for five days, as their frantic families travelled to Spain to distribute leaflets giving their daughters’ descriptions.

Once the youngsters were identified by GNR police in Albufeira, the father of both travelled to Faro to take them home.

The 34-year-old dual Moroccan-Dutch national is believed to live in Albufeira.

A source for Dutch police, Mireille Aalders, has told reporters in Holland that the man “can opt for either the shortest or longest process of extradition. He has the right to appeal through the Portuguese courts” she explained, which “will take time” but “he will be extradited to Holland” eventually.

On Monday however, Évora’s court of appeal freed the Moroccan, in the absence of what judges called the “elements required for extrardition”.

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