Updated 03:30 PM EDT, Fri, Sep 25, 2020

Arrested British ‘Barbie Bandit’ Reportedly Mistreated by Argentine Police over Falklands Dispute

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A 26-year-old British woman dubbed as the "Barbie bandit" has been arrested by police after robbing luxury homes and country clubs in Argentina.

Georgia Wawman, from Marlborough in Wiltshire, was charged with 16 burglary offenses, Daily Mail reported. Local media said that the burglaries occurred in gated communities in the capital Buenos Aires' northern part, which included the cities of Campaña, Escobar, and Zarate.

Wawman was arrested alongside Jose Mino, her boyfriend -- convicted for robbery in the past -- and six other individuals, which included five Argentine men aged 19 to 44, and a 33-year-old woman from Paraguay, the news outlet listed.

"They used latex gloves to ensure there were no fingerprints," a police source said, as quoted by Mirror.

According to Daily Mail, Wawman, who has a son with the 32-year-old Mino, arrived in Argentina in 2006 and resided in a luxurious rural property with her Argentine stepmother. Several months later, she reportedly moved to Buenos Aires to live with Mino, who's believed to have come from a well-respected family and has two brothers competing globally in polo.

Local police nicknamed Wawman as the "English boss" and the "key player" in the gang, the news outlet added. The robbers reportedly tied up their victims before scouring their homes for loot, such as laptops, jewelry, watches, and cameras. During raids to arrest the accused gang members, authorities found weapons and ammunition in their possession, as well as walkie-talkies, a wig, handcuffs, and a balaclava.

Authorities noted that the group dressed as police officers to dodge detection as they searched for homes to ransack, Daily Mail further reported. After the selection, the group members scaled or cut through perimeter fences of the gated communities at night, and then breaking into mansions.

Wawman's stepmother, Laura Pereira de Mello, has claimed via an email sent to the Spanish-language news site, Clarin, that police mistreated her daughter and even sang a song about the Falklands Islands to intimidate the accused, Daily Mail wrote. The United Kingdom and Argentina are locked in a dispute over the islands' ownership.

De Mello claimed that the police mistreated Wawman "in the most terrible way," adding that "a doctor checked her and discovered she had high blood pressure and told the police she needed to rest. However they made her stand up for two hours, handcuffed, with her face against a wall," Daily Mail added.

De Mello said that Wawman was only caught in the police raid because she was staying over at Mino, adding that the search warrant was for the man and not her. Friends of Wawman also described her as being "very nice" and "not a wild child," the news outlet noted.

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