Madeleine cops back in Algarve on trail of new suspects

Madeleine cops on trail of new suspects?

Just as the defamation trial of Gonçalo Amaral came to a close, British police were said to have arrived in the Algarve ‘poised to arrest’ their first suspects in the hunt for missing Madeleine McCann.
British newspapers reported on Monday that officers from London’s Metropolitan Police Operation Grange investigation have their sights on three burglars whose mobile phone activity was “unusually high” in the hours after the little girl’s disappearance almost seven years ago.
The trio, which includes at least one Portuguese man, is thought to have raided another holiday apartment in Praia da Luz – also disturbing a child – days before Madeleine went missing.
While Portuguese police attached no significance to the break-in, claims the Daily Mail, British police “see it as hugely significant”, and regard the Portuguese attitude as a “disgrace”.
Met officers are said to be working on the theory that the burglars may have panicked after waking Madeleine by mistake, and taken her with them, added the Mail.
Scotland Yard’s hopes of early arrests “have been thwarted by the reluctance of the Portuguese authorities to agree to a formal joint investigation”. Thus “behind the scenes highly sensitive diplomatic discussions have taken place, so that British detectives can be based in Portugal”, it said.
On Monday evening, British TV news channels reported that detectives were already on the ground in the Algarve, although a source at the Polícia Judiciária said police in Portugal knew nothing about the visit – nor had they received any rogatory letter or request that Scotland Yard is reported to have sent asking for Portugal’s permission for British officers to act on Portuguese territory. A note, however, had been sent and this was seen as an indication that “a formal request” was in the pipeline.
Meantime, the defamation trial of former Madeleine detective Gonçalo Amaral – who published a book suggesting the little girl may have died by accident in 2007 – has finally come to a close, and the judge is considering a verdict.
Operation Grange, set up in 2011 to review the case that has baffled the world, has, as yet, made no arrests and spent upwards of £4.5 million.