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This newspaper is a time machine, locked in around the time of two World Wars, one World Cup and a lost age when it was permissible to poke fun at Germans.

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Police Probe Forest Boy Over 24,000 Fraud Charge

German social workers have started legal action to recover 24,000 GBP from the Dutch boy who pretended to have lived rough in a forest with his father for seven years.

The "Forest Boy" told officials in the capital Berlin that his name was Ray but that he couldn't remember any other details about his family or his life before hitting the road with his father.

Because he was believed to be 17 he was put into care and German police were only able to discover that in reality he was from Robin Van Helsum, a 20 year-old from Hengelo in the Netherlands, after he allowed them to send a photo to the media.

Social workers that cared for the 20-year-old at Tempelhof-Schoeneberg have now filed fraud charges with the local police, and also want a refund of the 24,000 GBP (30,000 Euros) that they claim they spent on looking after him.

Social Services Spokesman Ed Koch said that because they originally had no way of proving his age they had to assume he was under age and had provided him with German lessons and pocket money as well as counselling. He added: "We have only requested the monetary cost what we haven't demanded back was compensation for all the stress that he caused us with his wild tale."

He has now been thrown out of his state provided flat and officials admitted they didn't know where he was but they believed he was probably still in Berlin.

Police are now preparing a report on the case that will be handed prosecutors who will decide whether to go ahead and press charges.

German Herald





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