Madeleine McCann case: Scotland Yard officers travelled to Barcelona to probe reports she was smuggled in Spain
Two officers from Scotland Yard investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have flown to Spain as part of a review into the case.
Detectives travelled to Barcelona two weeks ago to liaise with officers as part of a review of the whole investigation.
Officers would not confirm their specific reasons for travelling to Barcelona, however it is thought they might be looking into reports the three-year-old was abducted and smuggled over the border from Portugal to Spain.
This morning Clarence Mitchell, McCann family spokesman said: “Kate and Gerry welcome the on-going work by the Metropolitan Police and they are pleased that the investigative review is making progress.”
The trip is part of the Met Police’s “investigative review” into all the work done since the investigation into the missing child began in 2007.
It was ordered by David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May in May last year.
As part of the review detectives have also travelled to Portugal three times to speak with officers who worked on the original investigation.
They also spent the first five months reading all the information from the case file which had to be translated from Portuguese to English.
There are no suggestions of any major breakthroughs in the case.
According to The Evening Standard, officers could be investigating one theory that the toddler was abducted by a paedophile gang and smuggled over the border to Spain either in a vehicle or by boat.
There were sightings of a girl matching Madeleine McCann’s appearance in Spain shortly after she vanished and Portuguese authorities were criticized for not informing border officials for 12 hours after they first knew she was missing.
In September 2009, the McCanns received 1,000 reports following an appeal of a Victoria Beckham lookalike seen in Barcelona who they thought may be connected to the disappearance of their daughter.
Investigators wanted to trace the woman, said to have been acting suspiciously, who asked a witness at a Barcelona marina if he was there to deliver her “new daughter” on May 7, 2007.
The well-dressed woman was described as possibly having an Australian accent and appeared agitated.
Madeline McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, vanished from Portuguese holiday resort Praia da Luz in the Algarve in 2007. The girl was asleep in the family’s holiday apartment with her brother Sean and sister Amelie when she vanished on May 3, 2007 shortly before her fourth birthday.
Her parents Gerry and Kate McCann, both doctors, were eating at a nearby tapas restaurant with friends at the time.
A Met Police spokesman said two officers had travelled to Portugal three times for the investigative review and two officers travelled to the Spanish city between November 23 and 25.
The spokesman would not reveal any further details but added: “The investigative review is on-going.”
The official Portuguese and Leicestershire police investigation into Madeleine McCann’s disappearance ended in July 2008. However private detectives working for the McCanns have been working to trace her ever since.
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