The Roma family left the Belgian couple’s home with mold and broken furniture, and had been illegally subletting rooms to other refugees
A couple in Belgium is facing repairs of around €36,000 after they volunteered to welcome refugees fleeing the conflict in Ukraine into their home. They claim the Roma family they took in destroyed their property and left them footing the bill.
The couple, Sven and Evy, had recently upsized to a larger home. They retained their previous property in the city of Ninove to use as an office and decided to use other former homes to house Ukrainian refugees.
After contacting Belgium’s Public Center for Social Assistance (CPAS), they were asked if they could pick up a Ukrainian woman and her two children whose father had been killed in Ukraine.
“Then we got another call asking if we had a problem with the woman being pregnant. When we arrived, a pregnant woman with three children and her husband were waiting for us. During a half-hour conversation, we were told where they came from and the route they had taken. Then we went back with them,” the couple told Belgian news outlet, 7sur7.
The couple quickly noticed that all was not as it seemed. “This was no ordinary Ukrainian family,” they said.
It soon transpired that the family was of a Roma background, members of the minority traveling community that resides in Ukraine and neighboring countries.
“CPAS told us that they were Roma gypsies,” the couple said. “For example, the members of this family did not know how to use a washing machine, a dryer, an oven… All these devices were unknown to them. The mother was washing the clothes in our tub,” they added.
After several weeks of residing in the property, the family had caused substantial damage, allowing mold to set in, breaking furniture, and scribbling on the walls.