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Madeleine McCann: Police probe 18 cases where children were assaulted in holiday homes in Portugal

Police say they believe the 18 incidents in the Western Algarve could be linked.

Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

POLICE INVESTIGATING THE disappearance of Madeleine McCann almost seven years ago say that they now know about five new cases involving British children who were sexually assaulted in their holiday villas in the Western Algarve in recent years.

An incident involving a sixth child was deemed a ‘near miss’.

The cases came to light after London police appealed for information about a suspect who may have been responsible for a series of twelve offences in the region between 2004 and 2010.

Of the six new cases, all but one had been reported to Portuguese police at the time of the offence.

Police now say that there is enough similar characteristics between the 18 incidents that they now believe they could be linked.

In a statement today by investigating officers, the London Metropolitan Police said one of the assaults which took place in Praia da Luz in 2005 was “of particular interest”.

Madeleine McCann disappeared from Praia da Luz on 3 May 2007. She was 3 years old at the time.

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McCann Map showing the locations of the 18 potentially linked cases in the Algarve Source: London Metropolitan Police

“I’m encouraged by the new information that has come to light as a direct results of the appeal in March,” said Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, the senior investigating officer.

“There has been a huge public desire to assist us with our investigation and I would like to thank those who have provided us with new information”.

He called on anyone with information to contact the London Metropolitan Police.

Read: Madeleine McCann search: Police hunt intruder who sexually abused five children >

Read: Police receive thousands of phone calls after Madeleine McCann appeal > 

About the author:

Christine Bohan

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