13 charged with pick-pocketing over €13,000

Four children were also found to have been dragged in as accomplices of the pick-pocketing gang

Thirteen Bulgarians have been charged with operating a pick-pocketing group which stole more than €13,000 in cash and several mobile phones.

The group, which includes five couples, has not been released on bail.

Four children, aged between three and six, were also found to be accomplices of the pick-pocketing scheme and were accompanying the group when it was arraigned at noon earlier today.

A number of the accused were found to be repeat offenders in various countries.

The police arraigned the group Thursday after the former received information that the group were planning to leave Malta on the same day.

10 Bulgarians and three children were arrested outside the Sliema hotel they were staying in at around 12.30 pm.

The police arrested a further three Bulgarians and a young boy that same day, carrying suitcases which contained money in euro, sterling and other foreign currency, along with phones that were reported stolen.

Surveillance footage shows the arrested using children as pick pocketing bait.

The children are currently waiting for their grandparents to come to Malta next week to take them back to Bulgaria.

Magistrate Clare Stafrace Zammit precided over the case.

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