Austrian police are hunting a refugee family from Syria who dumped one of their children at the train station in Vienna after discovering that they didn’t have enough money to buy all three of their children a ticket for the final part of their journey to Berlin.
The family of five had reportedly paid smugglers €16,000 to get them through Afghanistan and Serbia to Berlin, but ended up being dumped in Vienna and told to take a train for the last leg of the journey.
But when they enquired about its they found they didn’t have enough money to pay for everyone – and so carried on but left the 12-year-old behind.
The distressed youngster was discovered by police who found that he was without any paperwork and took him to the local social services office.
Spokesman Walter Ceipek said: “It may not have been as coldhearted as it seems – it is well known that Vienna has an extremely efficient youth protection office and that the youngster would have been in good hands as soon as he was handed over.
“But nevertheless it was extremely distressing for the young boy to be abandoned – we have managed to identify a relative of his who lives in Vienna was confirmed with the boys but we have so far failed to trace the parents who would believe in Berlin. The relative who is a distant uncle is not prepared to look after the boy.”