The disappearance of Madeleine McCann: Met police team travel to Portugal to interview three suspects

Mobile phone data established the men were close to the apartment where the then three-year-old was last seen in May 2007 - and made a large number of calls to each other after she disappeared

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The Independent Online

British police have flown to Portugal to question three people about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, according to a report.

The Mirror newspaper said that a Metropolitan Police team led by Det Chief Insp Andy Redwood arrived at a police station in Faro accompanied by three colleagues for a meeting with Luís Mota Carmo, the director of the Polícia Judiciária.

A review by UK police reportedly used mobile phone data to establish that three men were close to the holiday apartment in the Praia da Luz resort where the then three-year-old Madeleine was last seen in May 2007. The records indicated that the men made a large number of calls to each other after she disappeared.

An International Letter of Request was earlier sent by British police to the authorities in Portugal, asking for permission to speak to the three men.

An insider told the Mirror: “It's the first time the UK and Portuguese police have met since the request was made. The investigation is at a sensitive stage and it remains to be seen what action will be taken by the Portuguese police.”

And a source close to Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry, told the paper: “Clearly the fact that the police are out there is significant. Kate and Gerry will now be on tenterhooks as they wait for any potential developments.

“The Met are being very pro-active and this is good news in the search for Madeleine and her abductor.”

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said the force was “not prepared to give a running commentary” about the investigation.