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Three “secret” children found hiding in house in Gran Canaria 

Social services officers in the Canaries have been investigating the strange case of three children kept “hidden” in a house in Gran Canaria for most of their lives.

On paper, the youngsters, aged eight, seven and one, did not exist, the authorities and police have confirmed.

Their births had never been registered, they were not vaccinated, had never attended school or ever visited the doctor.

Police found the children in the municipality of Telde and they were immediately taken into care pending further investigations.

The investigation began after the Family and Women’s Unit received a tip-off about the possible presence of minors in a house in the district of Jinámar where birth records showed no evidence of their existence.

“Officers discovered that they were three siblings whom their family kept hidden in their home, almost without contact with the outside, and that the oldest one, a girl, had a disease that severely hindered her mobility,” said a police spokesman.

At one stage, the family reportedly moved home on purpose after realising they were being investigted by Social Services.

However, police managed to find their new address and verified they were no records of the children.

“Every time they became ill, it was their mother who administered medication to them,” said the spokesman.

The facts were brought to the attention of the Children’s Prosecutor’s Office of Las Palmas, which ordered that the children be removed from the family home and taken to a children’s centre on the island.

In addition, the eight-year-old girl with mobility problems was admitted to a hospital.

Police said the mother had only recently given birth to another baby in a hospital in Gran Canaria.