Expatica news

Spanish nightmare ends for Belgian family

13 August 2004

BRUSSELS — A Belgian family accused by the Spanish police of driving a stolen car have finally been allowed to continue their holiday.

Mohammed and Fouzia Tahri and their five children have been stuck in Almeria in southern Spain for the past 12 days. They were on their way to Morocco when police stopped and arrested the father because the chassis number on their Renault Scenic was reported stolen in France.

The father was arrested on 1 August and by the following day the family had contacted the authorities and their family in Belgium. They confirmed the Tahris were borrowing the car from Fouzia’s sister with her permission and provided a receipt to prove the car had been legally bought through the Renault Jubile dealership in Molenbeek, Brussels.

The Belgian police did not consider the chassis number registered as stolen.

However, the Tahris were forced to remain in Spain until the matter went to court. On Thursday morning, Tahri appeared before a judge and police admitted there was no case to answer.

“Lawyers, hotels, fax, telephones – that was all our holiday money spent for nothing,” Tahri told La Derniere Heure after the judgment.

“We chose the cheapest hotel: EUR 88 per night. The people here haven’t been nice.”

Yesterday afternoon, the family was finally given back their car and later on, their luggage was returned to them.  

“We’ve spent three years planning these holidays to Morocco. All the pleasure’s gone now,” said Fouzia Tahri. “We’ve decided to go to Berkhane anyway for the sake of the children, but frankly our heart’s not in.”

The Tahris were angered they were not offered compensation for the incident.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject : Belgian news