17:08 13 January 2014
The police who are working on the disappearance of Madeline McCann case has sent an International Letter of Request to Portuguese police asking permission to arrest three burglars who made numerous suspicious phone calls after her disappearance.
This will be the first arrest in connection to this case. The police hope to speak with the thieves after mobile phone records showed that they made several phone calls to each other in the hours after she disappeared.
A spokesman for Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry said: “The letter is a significant development. It is necessary for British police to request the ¬Portuguese authorities allow them to operate on their turf.
"It means they have the intention of arresting and interviewing X, Y or Z. We don’t know who they have their sights on but it’s likely it is the burglars.
“Whether the Portuguese will co-operate remains to be seen. It is a very sensitive issue with differences they have had.
“Police want to be given a chance to arrest key suspects. It doesn’t prove they have Madeleine but it will rule them in or out of the investigation and that is important.
"Kate and Gerry don’t want to build up their hopes too high but they realise it could be a significant new lead.”
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