Madeleine McCann investigation: Police want to 'raid homes and examine bank accounts of three suspects'

British police reportedly made the request to their Portuguese counterparts in a recent meeting between the two forces

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The Independent Online

British police searching for Madeleine McCann have asked their Portuguese counterparts to search the homes and examine the bank accounts of three former employees of the resort where she disappeared, it has been reported.

Officers reportedly believe they were behind a spate of burglaries in the weeks before then three-year-old Madeleine disappeared. Scotland Yard wish to look at their bank records to see if any large sums were paid into the accounts.

Police are keen to quiz the trio, who are believed to have been working at the Ocean Club complex in Praia da Luz where the McCanns were staying in 2007, the Daily Mirror said.

Detectives from each of the countries are running their own investigations and the Met's team made the request during meetings with Policia Judiciaria after flying to Portugal this week.

Nelson Rodrigues, a barman at the Ocean Club at the time, told the Mirror a large number of staff would have had access to rooms.

"There were quite a few staff who had access to keys. Reception staff, the cleaners, and the maintenance men could all get into rooms. Waiters and barmen did not have access to keys," he said.

Kate and Gerry McCann are said to be 'on tenterhooks' about the possible breakthrough (PA)

"I remember at the time things belonging to guests went missing now and then. Mobile phones, cash, anything valuable lying around."

Police from the two countries met in Faro, Portugal after Scotland Yard sent an international letter of request linked to its own inquiry.

The Met said it has not yet made any arrests and that officers have visited Portugal a number of times in the past 18 months.

British detectives launched a fresh investigation into the disappearance last July - two years into a review of the case - and made renewed appeals on television in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany.