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Troubled Danish asylum centre closes amid sex claims

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Troubled Danish asylum centre closes amid sex claims
Børnecenter Tullebølle has been host to a number of problems in recent months. Photo: asse Hansen/Fyens/Scanpix
11:50 CEST+02:00
The children's asylum centre Børnecenter Tullebølle on the island of Langeland will be shut down after a number of problematic incidents and fresh allegations of sexual abuse.
The Danish Immigration Service (Udlændingestyrelsen - DIS) announced on Wednesday that the centre for unaccompanied underage asylum seekers will be shut down this week. 
 
According to a DIS press release, the agency was informed last week that two female employees of the centre are suspected of having sexually violated one or more boys under the age of 18. 
 
Integration Minister Inger Støjberg told broadcaster DR that the two women in question were removed from their posts and that Funen Police will now investigate the sexual assault claims. 
 
The sexual assault suspicions are several months old, but Støjberg said that neither she nor DIS were informed until last week. 
 
“Sexually assaults at a centre like this should have immediately been reported to me by Langeland Municipality,” she told DR. 
 
Langeland's mayor, Bjarne Nielsen, told DR that he himself did not hear about the allegations until recently and blamed the centre's staff. 
 
“It is completely unacceptable and we will take it up with the leadership,” he said.
 
The new allegations are the latest in a series of problems at the centre, which houses roughly 40 underage boys. 
 
Earlier this month, the centre's residents were involved in a mass brawl. No one was seriously injured but an employee of the centre was struck by a 15-year-old boy with a metal pipe.
 
In August, five teenage boys from the centre were charged for sexual assaults committed during the Langelandsfestival. Three were charged with groping, and two for raping a 16-year-old girl. 
 
The month prior, boys from the centre took part in a fight involving upwards of 100 minor asylum seekers during a football match against residents of another asylum centre. 
 
Støjberg said on Wednesday that it was time to close down the troubled facility. 
 
“The centre will be closed because there have quite simply been too many instances of violence amongst the young boys, violence and threats against the personnel and other completely unacceptable behaviour on the part of the youths,” she told DR. 
 
“Additionally, I was informed on Saturday that there have been serious allegations against the two female employees about sexually violating some of the boys,” Støjberg added. 
 
According to DIS, the roughly 40 residents of Børnecenter Tullebølle will be transferred to other underage asylum centres across Denmark.  
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