This gypsy grandmother has defended selling off her ‘virgin’ granddaughters to men for over 67,000 GBP so she could build a string of houses with the cash.
Radmila Mikulovic from the village of Tesnice near the town of Aleksinac in the district of Nisava in southern Serbia says she sees no problem in selling off her daughters despite it being punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
The Roma grandmother claims selling the women to their husbands is Roma tradition so it cannot be outlawed by law.
She told reporters: “When a girl is born in the family, we right away say we are rich. I sold the younger daughter for 99,000 DM (Deutsche Mark) (45,479 GBP in today’s money), and the older one for only 10,000 DM (4,593 GBP).
“For my granddaughter I got 20,000 EUR (17,958 GBP), and with all that money I built houses.”
She went on to say that she has two other granddaughters who she plans to sell for between 20,000 and 50,000 EUR (17,967 GBP and 44,917 GBP).
Her husband said that tradition dictates the brides be sold as virgins, saying that the father of the bride must return the money if the girl turns out not to be a virgin.
He added: “Ten years ago the father of a bride killed a friend after refusing to return the money.”
It is not reported if the girls who were allegedly sold were underage or not.
Grandmother Radmila said that her ‘customers’ are mostly Romanian and Albanian nationals who then take the girl most often to Germany, Bulgaria or France.
Her granddaughter, Andrijana Mikulovic, reportedly said that her childhood with Radmila was traumatic.
“I had nightmares! Since I was little I have known that some people could have shown up at the door and asked if there was a girl for sale. Then I dreamt of hiding in the closet.”
Radmila’s son Slavisa and her daughter-in-law Malina are appealing to the authorities to stop this kind of marriage as they disagree with the tradition.
The Centre for Social Work in the municipality of Aleksinac have reportedly said that they had never been called to a scene to stop a girl being sold, adding that it is a customary law for the Roma population.
Local media report that perpetrators can face up to 15 years in prison for the tradition as it constitutes human trafficking.
The prosecution said that they have not yet started an investigation regarding the case, according to local media.
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