Spanish soldiers allegedly held raffle with prostitute as top prize

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Spanish Soldiers Allegedly Held Raffle With Prostitute As Top Prize Spanish Soldiers Allegedly Held Raffle With Prostitute As Top Prize
The matter was reported after information on the draw was shared in a WhatsApp group. Photo: PA Images
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Natalia Penza

Spanish soldiers are facing an investigation after allegedly organising a raffle with a prostitute as the top prize.

Army chiefs said they have informed state prosecutors so they can decide whether to launch a formal probe.

The scandal broke on Tuesday after daily Catalan newspaper Ara claimed it had seen messages exchanged in a WhatsApp group incorporating around 70 squaddies from the El Bruc barracks in the Pedralbes neighbourhood of Barcelona.

All those who had paid €25 for a dinner organised for Thursday to commemorate Immaculate Conception Day, a Bank Holiday in Spain, are said to have been automatically included in the raffle, in addition to people who were not attending the meal but had paid €3 to enter the draw.

Photos of the escort being touted as the 'winning prize', with the services she offered, were reportedly published in the WhatsApp group and a poster containing pictures of the woman was hung in the staff canteen.

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The money raised in the raffle was due to go towards festivities organised by the regiment at the centre of the scandal, which has been identified as I/63.

The soldiers' superiors are understood to have alerted the authorities after one of the WhatsApp group members reported the matter.

Barcelona mayor Ada Colau expressed her outrage over the matter and called for an "urgent probe", adding it represents an affront to the values of a public institution.

She said: "As a woman and the mayoress of a proudly feminist city, I feel there needs to be a profound change so these types of attitudes don’t have any place in a public institution."

Spain's interior minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said: "I am unaware of the issue, but it sounds appalling.

"If it happened as reported, it would be something I would condemn and like to see investigated."

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