in Tandarei, Romania
HEADMISTRESS Steluta Mitrea gazed over the gipsy children’s empty
desks in her classroom yesterday and sighed: “All gone –
gone to Anglia.”
Only ten out of 25 children are left in Class Five at School No1 in the
ramshackle Romanian town of Tandarei.
Steluta, 40, who has taught in the town for 16 years, said: “Nobody
knows who will be next to vanish. They just stop turning up for school and
we don’t see them again.
“It is very unsettling for the school and the problem is getting
bigger. Everyone here knows about the benefits you can get from the state in
Britain and the healthcare and schools.
“We suspect their parents are going there for these things and
supplement their income by putting their children on the streets to beg. It
is sad but there is nothing we can do to stop it.”
A year ago – when Romania became an EU member – Steluta’s
green-painted school 90 miles east of Bucharest rang with the chatter of 650
She said: “Now there are only 490 pupils left and the numbers are
falling every day. The missing 160 were all gipsies and I have to accept
that they are probably all abroad now.
“I can’t tell officially that they left the country
because we have no control of this problem – we just see that they
don’t come to school and we hear stories. This part of our
community does not answer questions.”
Yesterday Steluta opened up photo albums of pupils and pointed at face after
“Anglia, Anglia, Anglia, Spain, France, Anglia,” she
shrugged as she picked out pupils she never expects to see again.
Twins Jacob and Isaac Avram, 13, Cassandra Constantin, 12, and her 11-year-old
sister Samariteanca were among them.
On Thursday British police arrested 25 people in Slough, Berks, in a crackdown
on the trafficking of Romanian beggars and thieves – and named
Tandarei as the source of the problem.
Children lie at the heart of the scam, with Fagin-style gangmasters making
fortunes by running armies of beggars on our streets.
Youngsters who have been trained as pickpockets have been dubbed “Maradonas”
When I asked how the teeny crooks earned the nickname, a policeman laughed: “It
is simple – they are so well trained that, like Maradona, they have
the Hand of God. And like Maradona, they steal from the English.”
While exported children are groomed for a life of crime the gangmasters who
control them rake in the rewards back home.
More than 40 huge luxury homes have sprung up around Tandarei in recent months –
with Mercedes, BMW and Audi cars gleaming on the drive.
He said: “When these people get rich they send their relatives money
to build fancy homes here with your English Pounds.
“There are 30 or 35 of such housing monstrosities in Tandarei. It is
so many that I have banned any more being built.” In Romania child
benefits are around £5 a month, and 39-year-old Vasile said many
people were flocking to Britain because of much bigger state handouts, plus
free schools and healthcare.
And he said the flood to the UK will increase soon, thanks to his new drive to
issue gipsies with ID cards. Most shun being registered by the state but he
is encouraging more to do so – enabling them to obtain passports to
travel to the UK.
A diplomatic source said: “Once the gipsies of towns like Tandarei
have ID cards and passports there will be nothing to stop them heading for
the UK – the flood gates will open.
“There are criminal elements among them that the Romanians want rid
of – and once they have passports, they will become Britain’s
problem.” Some gipsy children have been brought to Britain simply
to enable gangs to pocket their benefits.
Under British laws all unaccompanied minors, wherever they are from, have to
be cared for by the council and given handouts.
Meanwhile, police in Tandarei report a 25 PER CENT FALL in crime over
the past 12 months – though police chief Manoloche Ion insisted the
reduction and the gipsy exodus were not related.
He said he knew nothing of claims that children have been sold to Mafia
gangmasters after their parents defaulted on loans.
Five known crimelords living in Tandarei are at the heart of police inquiries
into the trafficking ring – but so far none has been charged with
Manoloche, 47, said: “There is no evidence that the recent fall in
crime has anything to do with gangs moving to the UK.
“These people were not in organised gangs when they lived here –
they must have become organised once they got to Britain. There is no
serious crime problem here.”
Residents of the town’s dirt-poor gipsy quarter were similarly in
One said: “I don’t know of any children from here who have
gone to England – none of these stories is true.
“In fact I don’t know anyone who has been to England.”
|Liveleak on Facebook|