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McCann police visit Portugal

The McCanns soon
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British detectives investigating the disappearance of toddler Madeleine McCann have made a fresh visit to Portugal as they close in on three people they want to question, the family’s lawyer says.

Scotland Yard detectives were in the Algarve capital Faro on Tuesday for talks with the local authorities.

Rogerio Alves, the McCanns’ lawyer in Portugal, said Scotland Yard has “suspicions concerning three people and wants to interview these people”.

“These people would be spoken to within the framework of the international judicial cooperation, and what they have to say would be taken into account,” he told reporters in Lisbon.

“The procedure takes place in Portugal and it is up to a Portuguese judge to draw the conclusions.”

Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper said four Scotland Yard policemen had gone to Faro and were “set to swoop on three suspects” thought to be part of a burglary gang.

Madeleine vanished from a holiday apartment in the beach resort of Praia da Luz, days before her fourth birthday in 2007. Her parents were dining with friends at a restaurant close by.

Pedro do Carmo, the deputy head of Portugal’s criminal police department, told AFP: “A working meeting took place on Tuesday in Faro, in the regular fashion, as has happened before in the framework of the investigation.”

He would not comment on the content of the meeting but said no arrests had been made and the British detectives had now left Portugal.

Portuguese authorities closed their investigation into McCann’s disappearance in 2008, but Scotland Yard spent two years reviewing the evidence at the British government’s request and opened their own probe in July last year.

British detectives have visited Portugal several times since they began reviewing the evidence.

They interviewed more than 440 people and identified 41 “persons of interest”, 15 of whom were British nationals.