Madeleine McCann 'abducted during botched burglary'
Published 29/04/2016 | 07:30
Madeleine McCann may have been taken by a gang of thieves during a botched robbery, British police believe.
One of the gang worked for the resort where Madeleine's family were on holiday, when she was abducted in 2007.
Police believe the man who drove a tourist bus for the Mark Warner complex was also working with a 16-year-old and two other men.
British police have revealed Madeleine may have been snatched during a break-in at the apartment where she was sleeping.
Mobile calls between the men on the night of her disappearance have placed the men at the scene.
Now British police want to quiz the three suspects further, having already questioned them previously.
During a radio interview this week, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said he believed there was “one final lead” in the case.
The Sun reports this line of enquiry may be that lead, but that police were privately frustrated with the Portuguese authorities’ refusal to let them follow up on it.
One told The Sun: “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."
The three men have been declared suspects by Portuguese police who arrested them on the request of British police but they have been released.
When they were previously interviewed the men admitted petty theft from apartments at the complex but denied being involved in Madeleine's disappearance.
The youth said he had got involved in crime because he was desperate to have a fast sports car.
Two holiday apartments in the same block where the McCanns stayed where broken into two weeks before the family arrived.
The suspects are Jose Carlos da Silva, 30, who used to drive guests to their apartments at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz, Ricardo Rodrigues, 24, and Paulo Ribeiro, 53.
Madeleine’s mother Kate, 48, and father Gerry, 47, believe the theory she was snatched in a bungled burglary is one of the “most credible” explanations for her disappearance.
Scotland Yard said: “It’s not something we would discuss.”
Operation Grange was launched in 2011 following widespread criticism of the Portuguese police investigation.
But detectives have made no arrests despite investigating 60 people of interest and taking over 1,300 statements.
Officers also investigated 560 lines of enquiry and even dug up parts of Praia da Luz in 2014 in a search for clues.
There have been nearly 9,000 reported sightings of Madeleine around the world since her disappearance.