Published February 23, 2014
A secret dossier on burglars kept by Portuguese police is being shown to Scotland Yard detectives investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
Madeleine McCann vanished from the Praia da Luz resort in Portugal during a family vacation in May 2007 when she was 3 years old.
Now, according to London's Sunday Express, a confidential file has been kept for years by law enforcement officials in Portugal following a series of burglaries in and around the resort that includes details of child sexual abuse during some of the break-ins.
One local businesswoman, who spoke anonymously to the Express, said: “It’s been going on for years, well before Madeleine disappeared. Police here are aware of the problem but the public aren’t aware.”
Detectives from Scotland Yard are now reportedly focusing on three particular burglars who targeted people in Luz.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe recently revealed that his team of officers is forming a joint task force with Portugal’s Policia Judiciaria and have the names of suspects, the Express reported.
Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, who live in England, believe their daughter may still be alive. Madeleine would be 10 years old.
The news of the secret police files comes just days after the widow of a convicted burglar -- the prime suspect in Madeleine's disappearance -- defended her late husband.
Luisa Rodrigues was questioned by police in Portugal about what Euclides Lopes Monteiro may have known about Madeleine's disappearance, the International Business Times reported.
According to the IB Times, officers suspected Monteiro, who was killed in a tractor accident in 2009, because he was in the resort around the time Madeleine vanished. Cellphone records reportedly put Monteiro at the scene the night Madeleine was abducted.
"I know Euclides didn't take Madeleine. He came out of prison a changed man. He had made an honest life for himself and was a good and caring father and companion," she told the Mirror.
"If I thought he had anything to do with Madeleine's disappearance I would have been the first to turn him in."
According to the Mirror, officers in Britain have asked Portuguese police to question former employees of the Ocean Club, have requested their homes be searched and bank accounts be scrutinized.
“Clearly the tempo of the investigation is accelerating,” Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt told the paper.
Click for the story from London's Sunday Express.