Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Missing baby found in Barcelona

Farah Afzal was found in Barcelona.
Farah Afzal was found in Barcelona.

A missing baby has been found after local authority bosses asked Spanish soccer fans to be on the lookout.

Farah Afzal is at the centre of proceedings in the Family Division of the High Court and was thought to have been taken to Barcelona by her parents.

A judge gave permission for her identity to be revealed two weeks ago - on the day Barcelona played in a Champions League tie Manchester City - in the hope that publicity would help.

Council bosses in Harrow, north-west London, asked Barcelona fans to "keep their eyes open" when they returned to Spain after the game.

A Harrow Council spokesman said today that the little girl was safe and well and back in England after being found in Barcelona with her parents.

Bosses had said the council began care proceedings following Farah's birth and social workers had concerns about her welfare.

Council leader Susan Hall said today: "This is obviously the conclusion we all wanted after an anxious search across Barcelona.

"Harrow Council officers took early and swift action to protect the welfare of this baby and laid the ground with Spanish officials for her to be returned quickly to the UK once found.

"The British consul, Spanish police and the judge in the case all helped hugely in getting this child home.

"This episode sends a strong message to families who believe that fleeing to Spain or anywhere instead of talking to the local authority will put an end to their troubles.

"The best outcome is always to sit down and talk to the local authority sensibly and responsibly - that means we can avoid the kind of trauma and upset we have just witnessed here."

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