NINE members of a cult group that sexually abused children and adults have been arrested in the Valencian Community.

The Policia Nacional detained four men and five women, including their spiritual leader, at a Castellon Province farm estate.

The leader, a 64-year-old man identified as Antonio GL, was the author of two self-help books about sensory and spiritual experiences.

12 victims were freed by police who believe the number of those abused is far higher over a number of years.

Investigations started last year into a ‘destructive sect’ based eight kilometres out of Vistabella del Maestrat, Alcalaten.

Police received a complaint that sexual abuse of minors was taking place as well as adults being raped by sect members.

The sect operated on a farm estate called Masia La Chapparra consisting of several houses where family groups with children lived.

Cult members are said to have carried out the abuses in those properties.

The regional Levante newspaper says that early morning police raids on Tuesday hit the estate as well as a Castellon flat owned by the sect leader.

Officers found hundreds of obscene photographs and videos stored on computers and cameras.

Equipment used in the sex abuses was also discovered.

Cash, watches, jewellery and other valuables were seized along with documents which investigators are hoping will reveal how the sect was financed and whether it misappropriated money.

Group members made little if any contact with the outside world with police saying that access to new technology was ‘scarce’.

They cultivated a large proportion of the food they consumed and made handicrafts out of ceramics and wood.

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