- Tyne Tees
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Superintendent Alan Veitch, who led the major investigation to find the three missing Sunderland boys, said it was "entirely possible" that the plan was to get them out of the country.
Police who found the three boys who went missing four days ago said there may have been a plan to "spirit them out of the country."
They failed to return to their foster carers' home in Sunderland, after setting out on a tea-time bike ride to a local park.
Instead, they caught a Metro to Newcastle, then took a pre-booked taxi to London and spent two nights in the capital before heading for Birmingham.
Superintendent Alan Veitch, who led the major investigation to find them, said it was "entirely possible" that the plan was to get the boys out of the country.
Three boys from Sunderland who have been missing since Monday were found in the Lancashire area today, police said.
According to Northumbria Police, they had been to addresses in London, Birmingham and Lancashire while missing.
Officers say this appears to have been a carefully orchestrated pre planned operation and the boys will now be brought back to North East to be repatriated with their foster carers.
Police say seven arrests have been made in total in connection with their disappearance.
Seven people have now been arrested in connection with the three missing boys who were found in Lancashire today.
Two men aged 47 and 22 years and a woman aged 23 have been arrested this afternoon in Lancashire.
Two men were arrested last night, Thursday, August 14. One man aged 37 was arrested in London and Northumbria detectives are questioning him there. A 41 year old man was arrested in Newcastle. Both men are in custody helping police with their enquiries.
Two other people, a man aged 34 and a woman aged 39, who were arrested at an address in Birmingham on Wednesday evening, August 13, remain in custody in the West Midlands. They have both been arrested in connection with the boys' disappearance. Northumbria Police detectives will continue to question them today.
Three boys missing from Sunderland have been found in the Lancashire area, police said.
Northumbria Police said two people have been arrested in Birmingham in connection with the disappearance of three young boys, who have been missing from home in Sunderland since Monday.
A man aged 34 and a woman aged 39 were arrested at an address in Birmingham at approximately 11pm on Wednesday, 13th August. They are currently in custody in the West Midlands where Northumbria Police have sent detectives to question them.
The boys left their home at 5:20pm on Monday saying they were going for a bike ride in a nearby park, but were captured on CCTV catching a train to Newcastle, where they were last seen.
Two people have been arrested in connection with the disappearance of three boys from Sunderland, Northumbria Police said.
Police officers searching for three missing boys from Sunderland will hand out leaflets to commuters at Newcastle Central railway station and the nearby Newcastle coach station, between 4pm and 6:15pm.
They left their home in The Oaks, Sunderland, at 5:20pm on Monday and have not been seen since CCTV captured them leaving the railway station in Newcastle shortly afterwards.
Police searching for three missing boys from Sunderland have imposed an "all-ports warning", circulating their details to all ports and airports to stop them leaving the UK.
The boys left their home in Sunderland on Monday saying they were going for a bike ride, but instead they went to a nearby Tyne and Wear Metro station and were seen on CCTV catching a train to Newcastle.
Police said their searches are continuing in the North East and in Birmingham, but are focused on the Edmonton area of London, in the borough of Enfield, which is popular with the Polish community.