Police ‘preparing to make arrests’ in Madeleine McCann case

British police are reportedly preparing the ground to make the first arrests in their investigations into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

A spokesperson for Madeleine's parents told the Daily Mirror that police were ready to arrest and interview "key suspects".

Scotland Yard confirmed that it had sent an international letter of request to the Portuguese authorities but would not elaborate on its contents.

However, the Mirror said officers were preparing to fly to the Algarve on Sunday night to speak to three burglars who carried out raids in the Portuguese resort where Madeleine, then aged three, vanished on May 3 2007.

The Metropolitan police launched its own investigation into her disappearance in July last year and in October, when new developments in the case were put to air on the BBC Crimewatch programme, officers said they were seeking to track down the people behind a series of burglaries around the Ocean Club complex, mainly in the early months of 2007.


Prior incident
There was also an incident almost exactly a year before the abduction when children in a ground-floor apartment saw an intruder break in through a patio door and stare into a travel cot, stealing nothing.

Earlier this month, the Mirror reported that analysis of mobile phone data suggested that a burglary gang was operating very near to where Madeleine vanished and made an unusually high number of calls to each other in the hours after she was reported missing.

The spokesperson for Kate and Gerry McCann said: "The letter is a significant development. It is necessary for British police to request the Portuguese authorities allow them to operate on their turf.

"It means they have the intention of arresting and interviewing X, Y or Z. We don't know who they have their sights on but it's likely it is the burglars." 

He said that Madeleine's parents did not want to get their hopes up but "realised it could be a significant new lead".

He also said it was not a formality that the Portuguese authorities would co-operate.

Portuguese police, who once falsely treated the parents as suspects, reopened their investigation in October last year, more than three years after it was shelved.

Their investigation is running in parallel with the Scotland Yard inquiry but the Met police commissioner has called for the two forces to join together as one team. – guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2014

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

Two dead in new ANC KwaZulu-Natal killings

A Mtubatuba councillor and a Hammarsdale ANC Youth League leader were shot yesterday near their homes

Inside Facebook’s big bet on Africa

New undersea cables will massively increase bandwidth to the continent

No back to school for teachers just yet

Last week the basic education minister was adamant that teachers will return to school on May 25, but some provinces say not all Covid-19 measures are in place to prevent its spread

Engineering slips out of gear at varsity

Walter Sisulu University wants to reprioritise R178-million that it stands to give back to treasury after failing to spend it
Advertising

Press Releases

Coexisting with Covid-19: Saving lives and the economy in India

A staggered exit from the lockdown accompanied by stepped-up testing to cover every district is necessary for India right now

What Africa can learn from Cuba in combating the Covid-19 pandemic

Africa should abandon the neoliberal path to be able to deal with Covid-19 and other health system challenges likely to emerge in future

Road to recovery for the tourism sector: The South African perspective

The best-case scenario is that South Africa's tourism sector’s recovery will only begin in earnest towards the end of this year

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

Call for applications for the position of GCRO executive director

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory is seeking to appoint a high-calibre researcher and manager to be the executive director and to lead it

DriveRisk stays safe with high-tech thermal camera solution

Itec Evolve installed the screening device within a few days to help the driver behaviour company become compliant with health and safety regulations