McCann fund 'paid detectives £500,000'

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The Independent Online

A private detective agency paid £500,000 to help search for Madeleine McCann will not have its contract renewed after a major backer of the campaign to find the missing four-year-old reportedly expressed concerns over its work.

Oakley International, a US-based firm, won a six-month contract from the Find Madeleine Fund to monitor the phone hotline, sift CCTV footage of possible sightings, and to carry out investigative work.

But British double glazing millionaire Brian Kennedy, who has underwritten the fund's work, believed the company's bills of more than £80,000 a month were disproportionately high given its results, said The Mail on Sunday.

The decision not to renew the contract was made last week. The cost of the contract had left the fund with less than £500,000, the paper said.

A spokesman for Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, told The Mail on Sunday: "Kate and Gerry... have always sought to employ the very best people and resources. I simply will not comment on any personnel, financial or operational details whatsoever."

Oakley International was unavailable for comment, the paper said.