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McCanns aware of inquiry into Madeleine hotel suspect

A source close to Madeleine McCann's parents has told ITV News that they are "aware" Portuguese police are investigating the possibility a former employee at the hotel in Praia de Luz where the family were staying may have kidnapped her.

Gerry and Kate McCann are aware of the inquiry into the former hotel employee. Credit: PA

It is understood the 40-year-old man died in a tractor accident in 2009 - two years after Madeleine disappeared.

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Police will be in Portugal regularly over Madeleine case

Officers have said that they will travel regularly to Portugal as part of the UK investigation, following a meeting with Portuguese police, the Met Police said in a statement.

Assistance Commander Mark Rowley, specialist crime and operations, said: "The meeting was very positive, and we and the Policia Judiciara have a shared determination to do everything possible to discover what happened to Madeleine.

Portuguese prosecutors have reopened the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Credit: PA Wire

"Colleagues in Portugal fully shared with us the developments in their review, and the fact that they were taking the significant step of applying for the investigation to be formally reopened.

"From the near future, MPS detectives from Operation Grange will travel regularly to Portugal under the terms of the ILOR in relation to the UK investigation."

Read: Madeleine case reopened

McCanns met police in Lisbon over reopening case

The Met Police said Assistance Commander Mark Rowley and Det Chief Insp Andy Redwood attended a meeting with senior Portuguese officers in Lisbon on October 17 over the Madeleine McCann case.

The parents of missing Madeleine McCann, Kate and Gerry. Credit: PA Wire

At the request of the Portuguese Policia Judiciary, the Met officers were briefed on new lines of enquiry, separate to those being followed by the MPS.The group were later joined by Kate and Gerry McCann who were briefed on the plans to reopen the investigation.

Read: Madeleine case reopened

Madeleine officers focusing on foreign sex offenders

by - Europe Correspondent

This is a very significant development in the search for Madeleine, for an investigation to be re-opened there has to be a substantial amount of new evidence and it is clear that the Attorney General feels that the review which has been going on in Portugal has generated that information.

This is also completely separate from the investigation by the British police, so it is quite significant that we have two investigations both finding new things that need to be looked at.

We understand that already police officers from this Portuguese review are on the Algarve, starting to work out a plan of action, who they wish to speak to, what questions they want to put to them.

Amongst that group we think there are a number of men who were though to be in the area at the time who have been on various sex offenders registers both in Portugal and abroad.

Madeleine McCann disappeared from the Ocean Club in Luz in the Algarve, Portugal.
Madeleine McCann disappeared from the Ocean Club in Luz in the Algarve, Portugal. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

What is important about this is it seems to suggest they are moving towards the thought that Madeleine may have been taken by a foreign group of paedophiles.

The investigation team who have been working on this are all specialists in child abduction. Child abduction is not something the Portuguese were absolutely sure had taken place in the early days of this investigation, so it is quite telling that they have shifted their focus that way.

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Metropolitan Police: 'We still have a way to go'

The Metropolitan Police have welcomed the new Portuguese investigation, but warned that there was still "a way to go."

This is a welcome development, but both sides of the investigation are at relatively early stages, with much work remaining to be done. This new momentum is encouraging, but we still have a way to go, and as with all major investigations, not all lines of enquiry that look promising will yield results.

– AC Mark Rowley, Specialist Crime and Operations, Metropolitan Police

Met & Portuguese Madeleine inquiries to run in parallel

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Portuguese investigation will run in parallel with Met's Operation Grange #McCann

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AC Rowley: "This is a welcome development but both investigations at relatively early stages, with much work remaining to be done" #McCann

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