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Isolated group for years: father of the farm family arrested

            

              
              
                

            

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<p class= The farm is located in the Dutch municipality of Ruinerworld.

(Photo: picture alliance / dpa)

              

The fall of a family who lived isolated on a farm for nine years shocks the Netherlands. The owner of the estate is still in custody. Now the family man is arrested. Evidence suggests that the two members could be a sect.

              

In the case of the isolated family on a farm in the Netherlands, the 67-year-old father has now been arrested. He is suspected of deprivation of liberty, mistreatment and money laundering, police said in Assen in the eastern Dutch province of Drenthe. "We have arrested the father," confirmed a police spokeswoman. Further information was not provided for the time being. Previously, the investigation in the mysterious case of a family living in isolation in the Netherlands for many years had concentrated on the Austrian tenant of the farm.

The 58-year-old Josef B. is under suspicion of deprivation of liberty. The magistrate in Groningen confirmed the initial arrest warrant and ordered an extension of pre-trial detention for two weeks. With the exception of his lawyer, he should have no contact with the outside world, said the prosecutor. Meanwhile, the police believe that the six children were detained against their will. "We think that the six people did not live there voluntarily," said Drenthe police spokeswoman.

The remote farm in the eastern Dutch village of Ruinerwold was extensively searched by a special police unit. "We capture all rooms digitally, so we get a complete overview," said the police of the province of Drenthe. In the yard, the now arrested father and his six now grown children are said to have been living in a small room since 2010.

Are the men cultic members?

Nothing is known about the motives yet. However, there are indications that both men have belonged to a sect. Dutch media reports that the family is a member of the "Unification Church" of Korean Moon. The Austrian should also be a member there. A spokesman for the Verinigungkirche had confirmed that at least the father had been a member for some time. In addition, the brother of the Austrian "Kronen Zeitung" said that Josef B. had been to a sect. "He was with a sect, has seemed better to himself than the Jesus," the newspaper quoted the brother. He has had no contact with him for ten years.

The Austrian and the father of the family had been friends for a good 15 years, according to a former neighbor. Together they owned a toy shop in nearby Zwartsluis. The deal, which has been closed since 2010, was raided by the police on Wednesday night. Also, another operation of the father had been searched.

References to the family also come from the entries of a son on the social media. The 25-year-old had asked for help on Monday in a village pub and thus set the ball rolling. He was suddenly back on the internet after a break of more than nine years. According to his entries, he had long planned the excerpt from the court. According to his information, the mother of the family died in 2004.

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