The National Police have dismantled a sect in the town of Vistabella del Maestrazgo, Castellón, after arresting nine people, including the group’s leader, according to police sources.
Some of the individuals arrested are accused of sexually abusing members of the sect, both adults and minors. According to the Mediterranean newspaper, National Police agents arrested last Tuesday nine people, four men and five women, including the leader of the group, 64 years old, author of two self-help books.
The residents cannot believe what happened. The mayor of Azteneta surprised by the arrests in the Masia de la Chaparra.
In Azteneta, a town in Castellón, the residents have been talking about nothing else for two days. During the early hours of last Tuesday, the deployment of a large police device surprised all of them, including their mayor. According to Santiago Agustina mayor of the town “the night from Monday to Tuesday a police device was seen by the people that had never been seen, with police cars, helicopters, ambulance… We saw a lot of movement, several people arrested in police cars and people wondered what had happened”.
The Masia de la Chaparra is surrounded by a fenced area, has security cameras and was always guarded. The mayor has recognized “that it was like a bunker and that when some hunter or gatherer of mushrooms approached the farm soon someone left to remind him that it was a private property and that they could not enter”.
Although the members of the sect had been living there for several years, they were not related to anyone. In fact, the neighbors believed it was a hippie commune. Today in the village everyone commented in surprise what has happened, and that no one expected such an unpleasant thing to happen there.
The police operation took place in a farmhouse in Vistabella del Maestrazgo after one person reported the alleged sexual practices to minors and adults captured by the sect.
Agents of the Castellón National Police Provincial Information Brigade have participated in the operation with the support of agents of groups specializing in assaults on the homes of criminals.
The farmhouse is located on the edge of the CV-170 road about 8 kilometers from the nearest town, Vistabella del Maestrazgo, and the enclosure is surrounded by a metal fence. A vehicle with two people had also entered and another car had left without any of the occupants wanting to make statements.
The disjointed group resided in the farmhouse for more than twenty years and they came to live up to thirty people among which several couples with their minor children. In the last months only two people, a woman and a young man, went out to buy from Vistabella, who made purchases in the village and moved them to the rural estate. According to the villagers, some children were born inside the compound and were in school in Vistabella when the first families settled. At present there are no minors among the 20 pupils in the school.
Vistabella del Maestrazgo has about 300 inhabitants, but only 150 residents reside in the town during the winter. The operation of the National Police and the alleged sexual abuse of minors in the farmhouse have caused a stir in this small town in Castellón.
Members of the alleged sect rarely went to the six shops in the village (two butchers, two grocers and two bakeries), so it seems that they were shopping for food elsewhere.
However, sometimes they did buy some essential products and also went to the dressmaker to order some clothing arrangements. The rural estate has had several owners in recent years until it was acquired by the leader of the disjointed group.
Agents of the General Information Commissariat of Madrid will report in a press conference on the entire police operation against this sect based in Castellón.