British police: ‘Failed robbers behind Madeleine McCann kidnap’

British police believe they know who was behind the kidnapping of Madeleine McCann — a gang of thieves involved in a failed robbery.

The three-year-old went missing from a room in the Algarve resort of Praia de Luz at 10pm in May 2007 while her parents ate at a nearby restaurant.

Police now believe they know one of the gang members involved in the robbery, who worked for the resort where the McCanns were staying.

Media reports said one of the suspects used to drive guests to their apartments at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz while another was only aged 16 at the time of the girl’s disappearance.

Police want to question three men over their alleged involvement in the robbery — with mobile phone calls placing them at the resort on the night in question.

But a source, speaking to The Sun, said Portuguese police are frustrating attempts to interview a main suspect again, as he has already been questioned.

The source said: “It has dogged the investigation all the way through and it’s happening again.

“If we can’t question the three suspects again the trail goes cold and the case will be shelved.”

In a radio interview earlier this year, Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said: “There is a line of inquiry that remains to be concluded and it’s expected that in the coming months that will happen.”

Detectives have made no arrests despite investigating 60 people of interest and investigating 560 lines of inquiry.

Commissioner Hogan-Howe earlier this week said investigators are following one remaining line of inquiry and unless any new evidence comes forward, that will spell the end of the British probe.

He said: “It’s a child who went missing, everybody wants to know if she is alive and if she is where is she, and sadly if she’s dead then we need to give some comfort to the family.”

The Home Office has granted £95,000 (€121,000) in funding to keep the investigation — which now only has a handful of officers working on it — going for another few months.


Lifestyle

FOR many of us, health insurance is high on the list of financial products which that we tend to avoid changing out of fear and confusion.Money and Cents: cover all the bases for best health insurance

Anya Taylor-Joy plays the titular Emma in the latest adaptation of Jane Austen’s romantic comedy about the spoilt, meddling matchmaker who means well, says Laura HardingAnya Taylor-Joy: ‘Emma is my little monster’

Setting sail to travel the world as part of your job has a romance all of its own but for marketing manager Máire Cronin and engineer Mark Crowe it led to love.Wedding of the Week: Cruise ship co-workers Máire and Mark sail off into sunset

One of the genres that has seen exponential growth in the podcast world is the sleepcast. Open Spotify on your phone in the evening and a number of offerings are available, writes Eoghan O'SullivanThe Podcast Corner: podcasts that will put you to sleep

More From The Irish Examiner