The police have identified three Moroccan men for allegedly gang-raping a 16-year-old girl in northern Spain six years ago after identifying one of her attackers when he was jailed for an unrelated offence.
Police believe that the three men managed to evade capture because they had no ties to the region and therefore did not show up on the radar when the original investigation took place six years ago.
The girl, who has not been named, reported she was raped by three men in Revilla de Camargo in the northern autonomous community of Cantabria during a local festival on 16th July 2015. She was 16 at the time.
The identities of the suspects remained a mystery until now and police cracked it when they realised one of the suspects named Bilal Laakel, 29, who is of Moroccan origin, was behind bars in Castile and Leon. It is unclear why he was detained.
The local newspaper Nius reported that Laakel has been arrested a total of nine times for property damage or causing injury since becoming a legal adult.
Investigators then managed to identify the remaining two suspects through his known associates and tracked one of them down, Abderrahim Chemroud, 26, reportedly also of Moroccan origin.
He was arrested by agents from the Spanish Civil Guard in the city of Martos in the province of Jaen in the Spanish autonomous community of Andalusia earlier this month (March 2021).
The 26-year-old also has a record that includes drug-trafficking, scams, robbery, threatening, causing injury and driving without a licence, according to Nius.
A colonel from the Civil Guard told the Spanish press the third suspect is in jail in Morocco on drug charges but it is unclear if he will stand trial in Spain.
Both of the suspects arrested in Spain have been placed under custody, one is in jail for an unrelated crime and the other is held in custody in the city of Santander.