THREE Polish brothers who went missing from their foster home in Sunderland have been found safe and well.
Detectives from Northumbria Police investigating their disappearance discovered the location of the boys inside a house in Accrington, in Lancashire, at around 2.30pm today.
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Police believe the incident was an attempt to repatriate the children to their natural parents, who are from eastern Europe.
The Matloch brothers, Remus, 15, Janko, 12, and David, 10, were last seen just after 6pm, on Monday, August 11, shortly after they had left their foster home, in The Oakes, Sunderland.
The boys were then shown on CCTV leaving Newcastle Central Station walking together towards the Centre for Life.
Seven people have been arrested and remain in custody.
Two men aged 47 and 22 and a woman aged 23 have been arrested this afternoon in Lancashire.
VIDEO: The brothers captured on CCTV leaving Newcastle Central Station
A further two men were arrested last night. One of the men, aged 37, was arrested in London where he is being questioned by Northumbria Police detectives. A 41-year-old man was arrested in Newcastle and is in custody helping police with their enquiries.
Two other people, a man aged 34 and a woman aged 39, who were arrested at an address in Birmingham on Wednesday evening remain in custody in the West Midlands.
They have both been arrested in connection with the boys' disappearance. Northumbria Police detectives will continue to question them today.
Superintendent Alan Veitch, from Sunderland Area Command said: "We are delighted that the three boys have been found safe and well. We are planning to reunite them with their foster parents as soon as we can.
"We will need to speak to the boys over the next few days to piece together the full circumstances of what has happened, but of course we are just so pleased for them and their foster parents that this has been brought to a safe conclusion and that we have got the boys back."
Daljit Lally, executive director, wellbeing and community health services, Northumberland County Council said: "We are delighted to hear the children have been found safe and well. We’d like to express our gratitude to Northumbria Police for all their work over the past few days in finding the boys."