Spain arrests cousin for missing teenage boy

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MADRID: Another relative of a teenage girl who was allegedly murdered last year in Italy by her Pakistani family was arrested in Spain on Monday, Spanish and Italian police said.

Spanish police arrested a cousin of Saman Abbas, 18, at an apartment near Barcelona as part of a joint operation with Italian police, a Spanish national police spokesman said.

“He was arrested this morning,” he said. Italian police identified him as Nomanulhaq, 34, suspected of being “co-responsible for the kidnapping, murder and concealment of the body” of Abbas.

Another cousin and the young woman’s uncle were both arrested in France and extradited to Italy last year for her death, while Saman’s parents remain at large in Pakistan. The case has sparked outrage in Italy and has made headlines since police began investigating the teenager’s disappearance in May. His body has not yet been found. Abbas, who lived in the northern Italian town of Novellara, in 2020 turned down her family’s plan to have her marry a cousin in their home country of Pakistan.

While still a minor, she turned to social services and in November 2020 was moved to a foster home. She also reported her parents to the police, but in April 2021 she came back to them. Police began searching for her on May 5, when officers visited her home and found no one. Officers then discovered that the girl’s parents had traveled to Pakistan without her and found footage from a nearby security camera that made them fear the worst.

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