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McCann police visit Portugal, make no arrests

30 January 2014, 11:43

Lisbon - British detectives investigating the disappearance of toddler Madeleine McCann have made another visit to the Algarve but no arrests were made, Portuguese police said on Wednesday.

Scotland Yard detectives were in the Algarve capital Faro on Tuesday for talks with the Portuguese authorities.

British newspapers reported that the British detectives were set to arrest three suspects.

But Pedro do Carmo, the deputy head of Portugal's criminal police department, told AFP: "There were no arrests."

Madeleine vanished from a holiday apartment in the beach resort of Praia da Luz, days before her fourth birthday in 2007. Her parents were dining with friends at a restaurant close by.

"A working meeting took place on Tuesday in Faro, in the regular fashion, as has happened before in the framework of the investigation," Carmo said.

He would not comment on the content of the meeting but said the detectives had now left Portugal.

The Daily Mirror newspaper in Britain said four Scotland Yard policemen had gone to Faro and were "set to swoop on three suspects" who were believed to be part of a burglary gang.

"The discussions are believed to have centred on getting local officials to sanction the arrests and subsequent questioning," the report said.

Portuguese authorities closed their investigation into McCann's disappearance in 2008, but Scotland Yard spent two years reviewing the evidence at the British government's request and opened their own probe in July last year.

British detectives have visited Portugal several times since they began reviewing the evidence.

The review interviewed more than 440 people and identified 41 "persons of interest", 15 of which were British nationals.

Gerry and Kate McCann have never dropped their campaign to find Madeleine. They believe she was kidnapped and is still alive.

A television appeal in October - screened in Britain, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands - triggered more than 1 000 fresh calls and emails.

Portuguese authorities announced on 24 October they were re-opening the probe "due to new elements".



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