The purpose of this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many Thanks, Pamalam

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Case Files Released: The Sightings (1) *

MCCANN FILES HOME BACK TO GERRY MCCANNS BLOGS HOME PAGE PHOTOGRAPHS
NEWS REPORTS INDEX MCCANN PJ FILES NEWS MAY 2007
 
With the PJ case files all but forgotten, the UK press continued its breathless pursuit for more and more 'sightings' across Europe. Leading the way was the Daily Mirror who commissioned artist impressions of the two Amsterdam 'suspects'. Speculation then turned to a Belgian paedophile link.

Amsterdam artist impressions

'My name's Maddie. They took me from my holiday': The astonishing sightings and CCTV footage police kept secret from the public, 05 August 2008
'My name's Maddie. They took me from my holiday': The astonishing sightings and CCTV footage police kept secret from the public Daily Mail
 
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 2:12 PM on 05th August 2008 
 
A little girl calling herself 'Maddie' and claiming to have been taken from her mother on holiday was seen in Amsterdam at the time Madeleine McCann disappeared, the case files show.
 
Possible sightings of the missing little girl flooded into the Algarve police incident room from around the world.
 
Another possible sighting was in CCTV footage taken within hours of Madeleine's disappearance close to Praia da Luz.
 
The newly-released documents include scores of e-mails from foreign police forces passing on reports that could provide investigators with a key lead.
 
But the Amsterdam sighting is one of the most intriguing.
 
Dutch shop worker Ana Stam, 41, said she spoke to a little girl aged three or four who said her name was 'Maddie' and replied to a question about her mother:
 
'They took me from my holiday.'
 
The girl entered her party shop in early May last year with a man and a woman and two other children, according to a witness statement to Dutch police in the police files.
 
The man - who "did not look like a nice person" - appeared to be speaking Portuguese but the woman spoke in English and told Ms Stam they had a small circus in France.

CCTV footage

Another sighting: The little blonde girl on CCTV at a petrol station near Praia da Luz, hours after Maddie vanished
 
Ms Stam was at the back of the shop when the young girl approached her and asked in English without an accent: "Do you know where my mummy is?"
 
The shop assistant answered that her mother was a little further back in the store but the child replied, "She is not my mummy," and added:
 
'She is a stranger, she took me from my mummy."
 
When Ms Stam asked the girl where she last saw her mother, she said: "They took me from my holiday."
 
The Dutchwoman went on: 'I asked where that holiday was but the little girl was incapable of telling me.
 
'I even asked if she was on a camping site or in a hotel but she was unable to say.
 
'I told her I thought she was very cute and asked if she wanted a balloon. She didn't.
 
'I thought it all a little odd and then I heard the woman call the girl. She didn't call her Maddy, but a longer name. She could have said Madeleine but I don't remember that.'
 
The girl had dark brown hair in a ponytail, "huge" green-brown eyes and a pale face which showed "little or no emotion", she said.
 
Ms Stam said she thought the child looked "very much like" Madeleine apart from the colour of her hair.
 
The report was sent to the Portuguese authorities on June 18 last year but it is not clear what action was taken.
 
Meanwhile this CCTV picture was taken within hours of her disappearance close to Praia da Luz, where she vanished from her family's holiday apartment.
 
Its existence was revealed for the first time today among thousands of pages of documents from the police investigation into the then three-year-old's disappearance.
 
Witnesses were shown the still image after it was taken at a petrol station near the town of Lagos on the Algarve's main Via do Infante highway  -  but it was never shown to the public.

'My name's Maddie. They took me from my holiday': McCanns' despair at the sightings and CCTV footage police kept secret, 06 August 2008
'My name's Maddie. They took me from my holiday': McCanns' despair at the sightings and CCTV footage police kept secret Daily Mail
 
By MICHAEL SEAMARK
Last updated at 12:00 AM on 06th August 2008
(This is an update/rewrite of the 2:12 PM, 05 August 2008, article with new pictures)
 
A girl calling herself 'Maddie' and claiming she was taken from her mother while on holiday was seen in Amsterdam after Madeleine McCann vanished, case files show.
 
The secret documents gathered by police during their investigation into the three-year-old's disappearance reveals possible sightings from around the world.
 
Revealed to the public for the first time this week, they show how a Dutch woman reported seeing a little girl who asked her: 'Do you know where my Mummy is?'
 
Another girl bearing a striking resemblance to Madeleine, then three, was caught on CCTV footage taken within hours of her disappearance in Praia da Luz.
 
The newly-released documents include scores of e-mails from foreign police forces passing on reports that could provide investigators with a key lead but the Amsterdam sighting is one of the most intriguing.
 
Dutch shop worker Anna Stam, 41, said she spoke to a little girl aged three or four who said her name was 'Maddie' and replied to a question about her mother: 'They took me from my holiday.'
 
The girl entered her party shop in early May last year with a man and a woman and two other children, according to a witness statement to Dutch police in the police files.
 
The man - who 'did not look like a nice person' - appeared to be speaking Portuguese but the woman spoke in English and told Ms Stam they had a small circus in France.
 
Miss Stam was at the back of the shop when the young girl approached her and asked in English without an accent: 'Do you know where my mummy is?'
 
The shop assistant answered that her mother was a little further back in the store but the child replied: 'She is not my mummy', adding:'She is a stranger, she took me from my mummy.'

CCTV footage
Clues: Another possible sighting contained in the file

CCTV footage

The cruel hoaxer
Click to enlarge

When Miss Stam asked the girl where she last saw her mother, she said: 'They took me from my holiday.'
 
The Dutchwoman went on: 'I asked where that holiday was but the little girl was incapable of telling me.
 
'I even asked if she was on a camping site or in a hotel but she was unable to say. I told her I thought she was very cute and asked if she wanted a balloon. She didn't.
 
'I thought it all a little odd and then I heard the woman call the girl. She didn't call her Maddy, but a longer name. She could have said Madeleine but I don't remember that.'
 
The girl had dark brown hair in a ponytail, 'huge' green-brown eyes and a pale face which showed 'little or no emotion', she said.
 
Ms Stam said she thought the child looked 'very much like' Madeleine apart from the colour of her hair.
 
The report was sent to the Portuguese authorities on June 18 last year but it is not clear what action was taken.
 
Meanwhile, the CCTV picture was taken within hours of her disappearance close to Praia da Luz, where she vanished from her family's holiday apartment.
 
Its existence was revealed for the first time today among thousands of pages of documents from the police investigation into the then three-year-old's disappearance.
 
Witnesses were shown the still image after it was taken at a petrol station near the town of Lagos on the Algarve's main Via do Infante highway  -  but it was never shown to the public.
 
This grainy CCTV image was among the earliest clues in the search for Madeleine.
 
It shows a young blonde girl hand in hand with a woman and was taken at 11.10am on May 4 - the morning after the disappearance - at a service station on the A22 just outside Praia da Luz.
 
Police seized the CCTV footage and showed it to Kate and Gerry McCann later that day. The devastated parents immediately said the girl was not their missing daughter.
 
A second set of images shows a girl resembling Madeleine inside a Repsol petrol station in Vale Paraiso, Albufeira, later that morning.
 
She is behind a man in his fifties or sixties and a blue Renault car parked on the forecourt.
 
The images were not shown to the McCanns, but the owner of the car was traced and no further action taken.

Penalty for carelessness
Click to enlarge

On May 9 in Morocco, Norwegian-born tourist Mari Pollard, 45, said she was '100 per cent certain' she saw Madeleine with a man at a petrol station in Marrakeshand and heard her ask: 'Can I see Mummy soon?'
 
Detectives travelled to Marrakesh but were told there were no CCTV images of the incident.
 
They have also investigated ten sightings in the Rif Mountains in the north of country.
 
Other sightings have been reported in Australia, Chile, Brazil and Canada.
 
But so far each has led to disappointment for the McCanns, as the girls have been found and proved not to be their missing daughter.

'Sightings' in Madeleine files, 06 August 2008
'Sightings' in Madeleine files
 
Page last updated at 07:05 GMT, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 08:05 UK
 
 
Investigators for the McCann family are probing claims that a girl calling herself Maddy was seen in Amsterdam in June 2007.
 
The move comes after new information on Madeleine's disappearance was made public by Portuguese police.
 
The files also contained CCTV images showing a small child said to resemble Madeleine at an Algarve petrol station the day after she went missing.
 
Sabet Choudhury reports. (00:01:07)

Media descends on Amsterdam as new Madeleine hunt begins, 06 August 2008
Media descends on Amsterdam as new Madeleine hunt begins 24dash.com
 
Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com
Wednesday 6th August 2008 - 12:31pm
 
The Dutch shop worker who said she may have seen Madeleine McCann just days after the hunt began today told friends she "dearly hoped" her information would help.
 
Anna Stam returned to work at the Dam's party shop, in the Middenweg district of Amsterdam, this morning after details of her sighting had been made public by police.
 
Ms Stam, 41, had told Dutch detectives she spoke to a little girl aged three or four in the city who said her name was "Maddy" and replied to a question about her mother: "They took me from my holiday."
 
But after it emerged that private detectives for Kate and Gerry McCann were now investigating her claim, Ms Stam told friends she was feeling "totally overwhelmed".
 
Wendy Gebharp, 31, who has worked alongside Ms Stam for the past three years, said more than 20 journalists had gathered outside the shop.
 
She said: "It is totally overwhelming for her. She told me she dearly hopes that her information helps but I do not think it is fair that Portuguese police have revealed her details.
 
"She doesn't want to talk to anyone at the moment. She has come here to do her day's work but more than 30 journalists have come in to try to talk with her.
 
"There are about 20 outside right now. She is suddenly Holland's most in-demand person. I do not think it helps."
 
The possible sighting of the missing girl was reported to Portuguese officers in June last year - but it has only now been made public with the release of previously secret police files.
 
The girl entered Ms Stam's party shop in early May last year with a man and a woman and two other children, according to her statement to Dutch police.
 
The man - who "did not look like a nice person" - appeared to be speaking Portuguese but the woman spoke in English and told Ms Stam they had a small circus in France.
 
Ms Stam was at the back of the shop when the young girl approached her and asked in unaccented English: "Do you know where my mummy is?"
 
On being told that her mother was a little further back in the store, the child replied, "She is not my mummy," and added: "She is a stranger, she took me from my mummy."
 
The Dutchwoman said she thought the girl looked "very much like" Madeleine apart from the colour of her hair.
 
McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said it was "tragic" that this kind of information should only be released now.
 
"It is harrowing to hear a child saying that. If it was Madeleine, it was a disgrace that it was not passed on," he said.
 
"We need to know what happened with this. This is exactly the sort of primary information that we need to know if it was followed up properly by the police.
 
"If that hasn't been done, that is exactly the kind of information that the private investigators are going to follow up."

Maddie shopkeeper accuses police of neglect, 06 August 2008
Maddie shopkeeper accuses police of neglect Metro
 
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
 
The Dutch shop worker who said she may have seen Madeleine McCann today accused detectives of neglect.
 
Anna Stam, 41, said "it was stupid" nothing was done by Portuguese police after she reported speaking to a little girl named Maddy in Amsterdam who replied to a question about her mother: "They took me from my holiday."
 
It was probably now "too late" to find any clues, she told ITV News.
 
Attacking British and Portuguese officers, she said: "I think it's stupid because maybe they could have done something more at that time and maybe now it's too late to find any clue. So I think it's very neglectful by the police.
 
"And maybe not even the Dutch police but more the British or Portuguese police because at that time I remember the police told me they were suspecting the parents themselves.
 
"I thought it was crazy to think that but that's maybe why they didn't do something with it."
 
The possible sighting of the missing girl was reported to Portuguese officers in June last year - but it has only now been made public with the release of previously secret police files.
 
Remembering the incident as she returned to work at Dam's party shop, in the Middenweg district of Amsterdam, this morning, she told how the little girl had made it clear her name was Maddy.
 
She added: "It seemed that she was together with the family, maybe it was not her mother but it could be her aunt or the neighbour and she was not crying or protesting to go with them so I thought it was normal, that she belonged to the family.
 
"(The girl) said she was looking for her mummy... and not for her mother...she called herself Maddy.
 
"At first I thought it was Maggie, that's why I remember, but she made clear it wasn't Maggie, it was Maddy."
 
The girl entered Ms Stam's party shop in early May last year with a man and a woman and two other children, according to her statement to Dutch police.
 
The man - who "did not look like a nice person" - appeared to be speaking Portuguese but the woman spoke in English and told Ms Stam they had a small circus in France.
 
Ms Stam was at the back of the shop when the young girl approached her and asked in unaccented English: "Do you know where my mummy is?"
 
On being told that her mother was a little further back in the store, the child replied, "She is not my mummy," and added: "She is a stranger, she took me from my mummy."
 
After it emerged this morning that private detectives for Kate and Gerry McCann were now investigating her claim, Ms Stam told friends she was feeling "totally overwhelmed".
 
Wendy Gebharp, 31, who has worked alongside Ms Stam for the past three years, said: "It is totally overwhelming for her. She told me she dearly hopes that her information helps but I do not think it is fair that Portuguese police have revealed her details."
 
McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said it was "tragic" that this kind of information should only be released now.
 
"It is harrowing to hear a child saying that. If it was Madeleine, it was a disgrace that it was not passed on," he said.

Clarence Mitchell: "Madeleine called herself 'Madeleine'", 06 August 2008
McCann's plea to police revealed BBC News
 
Page last updated at 19:55 GMT, Wednesday, 6 August 2008 20:55 UK
 
Kate McCann pleaded with Portuguese police to be kept informed about the hunt for her daughter, it has emerged.
 
A December 2007 letter from Mrs McCann, of Rothley, Leicestershire, to police said a lack of communication between officers and her family was "torture".
 
News of the letter comes as the family's investigators check reports that a girl calling herself "Maddy" was seen in the Netherlands in June 2007.
 
The information has been made public only with the release of police files.
 
Madeleine vanished, aged three, in May 2007 while on holiday in the Algarve.
 
Her mother's letter called for an end to "finger-pointing blame", and said her pain and anxiety were "indescribable".
 
Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell confirmed that Mrs McCann wrote to senior officer Paulo Rebelo but received no reply beyond a formal notification that her correspondence would be placed on file.
 
Mrs McCann wrote: "As her mother, the pain and anxiety I feel for her is indescribable and the feeling of helplessness overwhelming. The 'accusations' and media smearing, although upsetting, are very much secondary.
 
"I am appealing to you as a fellow human being to work with us (if possible include us) and to remember that we are Madeleine's parents and have needs...
 
"Lack of communication and a void of information, particularly as the parent of a missing child, is torture."
 
The McCanns, both 40, have accused detectives of withholding potentially crucial evidence from them after the release of the official documents.
 
According to one file, Anna Stam, 41, a shop assistant, said she spoke to a girl aged three or four in Amsterdam. She said she resembled Madeleine and said her name was "Maddy".
 
In reply to a question about her mother, the girl is said to have remarked: "They took me from my holiday."
 
A report was sent to Portugal on 18 June last year but it is not clear from the files what action was taken.
 
Mr Mitchell said it was "tragic" that this kind of evidence has only now been issued.
 
He said: "We need to know what happened with this. This is exactly the sort of primary information that we need to know if it was followed up properly by the police."
 
But he also told the BBC News channel: "Madeleine called herself 'Madeleine', and that was very much the name in the family as well, so that makes us wonder if this was indeed Madeleine."
 
The hair colour of the girl sighted in Amsterdam had been dark brown, different from Madeleine's blonde, Mr Mitchell added.
 
"That's not to say we are going to ignore any information based on one or two discrepancies - even one like that," he said.
 
"The lady concerned will be spoken to by the private investigators in due course and her information will be followed up.
 
"If it is Madeleine then of course that focuses everything. We are not saying it is. We need to know; we just don't know at this stage."
 
The release of thousands of Portuguese police documents also reveal that UK officers received intelligence suggesting Madeleine could have been snatched to order by a Belgian paedophile ring.
 
The intelligence suggested a "purchaser" in Belgium ordered the kidnap after being forwarded a photograph that had been taken of the girl.
 
But the files do not reveal the source of the intelligence.
 
The Portuguese police inquiry into the girl's disappearance was wound up last month.
 
The McCanns and a third British national, Robert Murat - who have always strongly denied having had any involvement in what happened to Madeleine - also had their status as formal suspects lifted.
 
Among the new files released was a prosecutor's report that said the investigation had uncovered "very little" conclusive about Madeleine's fate.
 
There were also CCTV images showing a small child said to resemble Madeleine at an Algarve petrol station the day after she disappeared that the McCanns had not seen before.
 
Several other reported sightings across Europe have been examined by local authorities or the investigators working for the McCanns in the past but all came to nothing.

Madeleine McCann 'snatched by international paedophile ring', 06 August 2008
Madeleine McCann 'snatched by international paedophile ring' Telegraph
 
British police believe Madeleine McCann was snatched by an international paedophile ring after she was photographed three days before she vanished, files have disclosed.
 
By Caroline Gammell in Portimao and Nick Allen in Amsterdam
Last Updated: 8:46PM BST 06 Aug 2008
 
The concern was raised in an email sent by the Metropolitan Police's intelligence unit dealing with Clubs and Vice, CO14 on March 4 this year.
 
It said: "Intelligence suggests that a paedophile ring in Belgium made an order for a young girl three days before Madeleine McCann was taken.
 
"Somebody connected to this group saw Maddie, took a photograph of her and sent it to Belgium. The purchaser agreed that the girl was suitable and Maddie was taken."
 
The astonishing revelation supports Kate and Gerry McCann's theory that their eldest child may have been taken by a child smuggling ring.
 
Written by a police officer called John Shord, it was sent to DC John Hughes at Leicestershire Police and passed on to Portuguese detectives.
 
The development comes as a woman who believes she saw Madeleine in Amsterdam shortly after the little girl went missing has accused the police of neglect after they failed to follow up the lead.
 
Anna Stam, who said she spoke to a young girl who called herself "Maddie" and said she had been taken away from her mother, hit out at the Portuguese and British police.
 
Her criticism came as a second woman told how she was convinced that she had seen Madeleine at around the same time in the Dutch city.
 
Hannie Wiechmann, 71, said she saw the three-year-old on two separate occasions and that her hair appeared to have been badly cut and dyed.
 
"Those eyes, her unequally cut fringe, this red painted lock of hair – I just knew it was her," she said.
 
Mrs Wiechmann called the police who dismissed her first sighting without taking down any details, but when the pensioner saw her again a week later, she was sure that it was Madeleine.
 
"She came right to me to pat (my) dog, then I let her go," she told Dutch newspaper Metro. "Stupid, I let her walk away. Such a beautiful girl."
 
The couple's spokesman Clarence Mitchell said their private investigators would interview both women to try and find more clues.
 
Dutch police refused to comment.
 
The apparent sighting was made around the same time as Miss Stam who spoke of her frustration yesterday at the lack of action over what she saw.
 
She reported her sighting to the Dutch police last June who passed all the details on to detectives in Portugal.
 
But no further action was taken and the lead went cold. Miss Stam gave police enough detail to produce a sketch, but it is not known what happened to the drawing.
 
"I think it's stupid because maybe they could have done something more at that time and maybe now it's too late to find any clue," she said. "I think it's very neglectful by the police.
 
"Maybe not even the Dutch police but more the British or Portuguese police because at that time I remember the police told me they were suspecting the parents themselves."
 
"I wish I could have done something but I didn't know. I'm haunted by it. I feel very sorry for the McCanns."

Madeleine McCann 'was snatched by paedophile ring to order', 06 August 2008
Madeleine McCann 'was snatched by paedophile ring to order' Telegraph
 
British police were told that Madeleine McCann was snatched by an international paedophile ring which photographed her three days before she vanished, police files have disclosed.
 
By Caroline Gammell in Portimao
Last Updated: 9:26PM BST 06 Aug 2008

According to an email sent by the Metropolitan Police a child abduction ring based in Belgium placed an order for a "young girl".
 
Three-year-old Madeleine was spotted while on holiday in Portugal by someone connected to the gang who took a picture of her.
 
The photograph was sent back to Belgium where the paedophile ring agreed that she should be abducted, the email states.
 
Three days later on May 3rd last year Madeleine was taken from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in the Algarve while her parents ate at a nearby restaurant.
 
The astonishing revelation supports Kate and Gerry McCann's long-held theory that their eldest child may have been taken by a child smuggling ring.
 
The email, sent by an intelligence officer on the Met's vice squad on March 4 this year to counterparts in the Portuguese and Leicestershire police, marks a significant development in the case of the missing girl.
 
Just last month Portuguese police closed their investigation and cleared the McCanns of any involvement in their daughter's disappearance.
 
The email was revealed for the first time in police files made public this week.
 
The Met Police were tipped by an anonymous source, the files showed.
 
Met officer John Shord wrote the email to Leicestershire Police on March 4 which was passed on to Operation Task – the British end of the investigation into Madeleine McCann.
 
It said: "Intelligence suggests that a paedophile ring in Belgium made an order for a young girl three days before Madeleine McCann was taken.
 
"Somebody connected to this group saw Maddie, took a photograph of her and sent it to Belgium. The purchaser agreed that the girl was suitable and Maddie was taken."
 
DC John Hughes, from Leicestershire Police, forwarded the email to the Policia Judiciaria (PJ) at Portimao in the Algarve on April 21, the files showed.
 
The next day the email was sent to Ricardo Paiva, one of the three Portuguese police officers leading the investigation.
 
On April 28, Portuguese police faxed the information to Interpol in Lisbon and asked them to investigate it as a matter of urgency.
 
Interpol replied on May 23, passing on all information gathered from its bureaus in London, Brussels, Germay and Finland.
 
On May 27, Interpol in Lisbon sent an urgent fax to Portuguese police asking for more information, but an undated return fax told them they had all the information that there was.
 
The email emerged in volume 14, appendix five, of the vast Portuguese police dossier into the closed investigation which was released to the public on Monday.
 
Paulo Rebelo, the head of the police investigation into Madeleine, ordered that the information be placed in the case file.
 
The inquiry was then shelved on July 21, less than two months after Interpol was told there was no further information about the paedophile ring.
 
Belgium has featured in the case already. There was an alleged sighting last August in Tongeren on the Dutch Belgian border but it was later ruled out.
 
The country was at the centre of one of the most notorious paedophile investigations of recent years which saw Marc Dutroux jailed for life in 2004 after being convicted of kidnapping, raping and murdering young girls.
 
He was found guilty of kidnapping and raping six girls, killing two of them and causing the deaths of two others. The case surrounding Dutroux, 47, an unemployed electrician and a convicted paedophile, shocked Europe in the mid-1990s.
 
Mr and Mrs McCann, from Rothley in Leicestershire, have spent the last 15 months trying to find their daughter who disappeared from her family's apartment in Praia da Luz last May.
 
For 10 months the couple had to battle to clear their own names of suspicion after they were named as suspects.
 
Only now, is a picture emerging of what may have happened.
 
It destroys the PJ's theory that the couple accidentally killed Madeleine and then tried to dispose of her body.

British police fear Maddie was 'stolen to order' by Belgian paedophile ring, 06 August 2008
British police fear Maddie was 'stolen to order' by Belgian paedophile ring Daily Mail
 
By VANESSA ALLEN and EMILY ANDREWS
Last updated at 11:13 PM on 06th August 2008
 
British police fear Madeleine McCann was snatched by a Belgian paedophile ring.  She was stolen to order after a 'spotter' saw her on holiday in Portugal and sent her photograph to the gang's leaders.
 
The revelation came as a second woman claimed to have seen the missing girl in neighbouring Holland.
 
The possible link to Belgium – the scene of several notorious child sex cases – was mentioned in a confidential email sent by the Metropolitan Police intelligence unit.
 
The message, passed to Portuguese police and contained in their newly-released files, said: 'Intelligence suggests that a paedophile ring in Belgium made an order for a young girl three days before Madeleine McCann was taken.
 
'Somebody connected to this group saw Madeleine and took a photograph of her. The purchaser agreed that the girl was suitable and Madeleine was taken.'
 
The dramatic development, and the horrific picture it draws, will bring fresh agony to Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann.
 
It would fit with two claimed sightings of their daughter across the border in the Netherlands, where Belgian paedophiles could hide their victims.
 
Earlier this week it was revealed that Amsterdam shop worker Anna Stam told police within days of Madeleine's diappearance in May last year that she thought she had seen her.
 
The report was passed to Portgual, but never followed up. Yesterday Hannie Wiechmann, 71, said she saw a girl resembling Madeleine in the Dutch capital at around the same time.

Hannie Wiechmann

Anna Stam

Sightings: Hannie Wiechmann (left) and Anna Stam both believe they saw Madeleine with a woman in Amsterdam
 
She said the child's hair had been badly cut and partially dyed red. She was with a woman who was pacing up and down beside a canal.
 
Mrs Wiechmann said: 'Those eyes, her badly-cut fringe with this red painted lock of hair. I just knew it was her.'
 
She told the Dutch newspaper Metro that she spotted the child twice near the city's famous Rijksmuseum.
 
Mrs Wiechmann said the woman, who was aged 30 to 35, was speaking English to her.
 
She added: 'You could see by the way she handled the kid she wasn't used to children.'
 
She was so convinced the girl was Madeleine that she called police from her mobile phone, then followed the pair as they walked towards the Rijksmuseum.
 
But when police arrived and spoke briefly to the brown haired woman, they accepted her account that she was a tourist who was baby-sitting the child.
 
Mrs Wiechmann said they dismissed her suspicions without even taking her details or talking to the girl. But she was so convinced the girl was Madeleine that she called British police, who took details but did not contact her again.

Amsterdam party shop

Lead: The party shop in Amsterdam where a woman says she talked to a girl calling herself Maddie
 
Mrs Wiechmann said that a week later she saw the pair again in a park, and the little girl came over to pat her dog.
 
She said: 'She came right to me to pat the dog. Then I let her go. Stupid, but…. I let her walk away.
 
'It would have been better if I had taken her home and reported it to all the international criminal investigators. Such a beautiful girl.'
 
The McCanns' private detectives have considered the theory that Madeleine was given to a 'carer' who would have disguised her appearance and kept her in a safe house.
 
Mrs Wiechmann's account came just a day after the Portuguese police files revealed Miss Stam's description of a young girl with an adult couple and two other children.
 
Miss Stam, 41, said the girl called herself Maddie and said of the woman with her: 'She took me from my Mummy….They took me from my holiday.'
 
A Dutch police report was sent to Portuguese police but it is not clear what action, if any, they took.
 
Miss Stam said: 'I think it's stupid because maybe they could have done something more at that time and maybe now it's too late to find any clue. So I think it's very neglectful by the police.'
 
Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said the McCann's private detectives would interview both women 'as a priority'.
 
Dutch and Portuguese police refused to comment.
 
The huge case files also revealed that Portuguese police asked the FBI to compare a DNA sample from Madeleine with the body of a child washed ashore in Galveston, Texas, last November. But it was not a match.
 
In the UK, a former detective accused the Portuguese of 'giving up'.
 
Child protection expert Mark Williams-Thomas said: 'The file should have been made available to another law enforcement agency from another country before it was made public.
 
'There is information there which should not have been put in the public domain and should have been followed up. It is a huge blunder to make it public.
 
'They have given up. The police are absolving themselves of responsibility.'
 
THE SUSPECT WHO ASKED TOO MANY QUESTIONS

Robert Murat
Robert Murat in his police mug shot

Police suspected Robert Murat because of his 'constant questions' about Madeleine McCann's disappearance, according to the case files.

On May 11 – three days before the British expat was named as the first formal suspect – an officer said he had noticed his questions and suggestions and added: 'He aroused my suspicions.'

Mr Murat, now 34, was formally cleared as an arguido, official suspect, last month, when Portugal's attorney-general said there was no evidence he had committed any crime.

He had volunteered his services as a translator as police were trying to interview British tourists in Praia da Luz, but officer Pedro Varanda said he had showed an 'unusual curiosity' in the case.

His comments, recorded in the police files, came just five days after a British journalist told Leicestershire Police she had also noticed Mr Murat showing an intense interest in developments.

Mr Varanda said: 'We noticed that he questioned me persistently, over and over, as to the ID of the potential suspects and the strategy of the investigation in the next few days.

'Because he was so insistent and because of his attitude, he aroused my suspicions. I always told him to pay attention to the job he was supposed to be doing – because at that time the investigation was under the secrecy of justice rule.

'He also had an enormous knowledge of the dynamics of the Ocean Club, and the routines the McCann family and their friends had taken up.'

Mr Murat, a property consultant, was taken for questioning on May 13 and named an arguido the next day.

Police searched the villa he shares with his mother, some 200 yards from the McCann's holiday apartment, but found nothing.

Daily Express 07 August 2008
Daily Express 07 August 2008

I saw 'Maddie' too, 07 August 2008
I saw 'Maddie' too The Sun
 
By LUCY HAGAN in Amsterdam
and VERONICA LORRAINE in Praia da Luz
Published: Today, 07 August 2008
 
A SECOND possible sighting of Madeleine McCann in Amsterdam was revealed last night. 
 
Pensioner Hannie Wiechmann said she saw a little girl with an anxious woman near her home in the Dutch city days after Maddie vanished from her family’s holiday apartment in Portugal.
 
Hannie, 71, believed a crude attempt had been made to disguise the child by cutting and dyeing her hair, giving her a badly-trimmed fringe and some red locks. But she said: "Those eyes . . . I knew it was her."
 
Hannie spoke 24 hours after released police files revealed Amsterdam party shop worker Anna Stam spoke to an English girl who called herself Maddie.
 
She was with an odd couple and told 41-year-old Anna: "They took me from my holiday." She said of the woman with her: "She is not my mummy."
 
Hannie's sighting was in the centre of the canal city near Weteringsplantsoen at around the same time in May last year.
 
She said: "I saw a woman aged 30 to 35 continuously walking up and down the waterside. You could see by the way she handled the kid that she was not used to children. The woman had brown curly hair. She spoke English with the girl.
 
"Maddie wore a pink woollen coat that reached her calfs. I know because she reminded me of my own daughter when she was that young. Maddie was delighted by my dog diving into the water."
 
Favourite
 
The lost girl was in pink pyjamas when she was snatched in Praia da Luz just before her fourth birthday. And pink was her favourite colour.
 
Hannie said she called cops, who arrived to challenge the woman. The pensioner said: "She told the police she was a tourist and was babysitting the little girl. That was it. They didn't ask for any name — not mine nor hers."
 
Hannie claimed she saw the girl again the following week. She said: "She came to me to pat the dog. Then I let her go. It was stupid of me but I thought that since the police were so convinced it wasn’t Maddie, it didn't matter."
 
Dutch police refused to comment on Hannie's story last night, referring all queries to Portuguese cops. But it WILL be followed up by private detectives acting for Maddie’s parents Kate and Gerry.
 
They will also talk to Anna, who yesterday revealed a string of further clues that could boost the hunt for the child.
 
The Sun took Anna back to the shop where she saw the Maddie lookalike.
 
She told how the child was wearing a distinctive PINK top bearing the English wording "Little Beavers".
 
Anna said the child was never called by name by the couple with her.
 
They said they had a small circus in France and addressed her as La Petite — French for Little One.
 
The assistant added she had green eyes and an expressionless face identical to a picture of Maddie she saw after the girl’s disappearance became news in Holland.
 
Anna reported her sighting to Dutch police, who passed the information to Portuguese detectives. But she never heard from them — and they never informed the McCanns of her story.
 
Anna said: "The Portuguese certainly could have done more, which I think everyone believes. Now I just want to do anything I can to help. I want to speak to British detectives and to Kate and Gerry McCann."
 
More details from the released Portuguese police files emerged yesterday.
 
They revealed Kate and Gerry slept in separate beds after having a row the night before Maddie vanished.
 
A file written by three inspectors said of Kate: "When asked if she ever slept in Madeleine's room, she said that happened on Wednesday because she had fallen out with Gerry after he ignored her after dinner when they went to the tapas bar.
 
"She decided to retaliate by sleeping in another room."
 
The files also show a table plan drawn by Kate, showing she was not sitting next to Gerry at dinner on the night Maddie went missing. She was between pals Rachel Oldfield and Fiona Payne, while Gerry was on the other side of Fiona.
 
Another document revealed expat Robert Murat was made a suspect because he showed an "unusual curiosity" in the case while acting as an interpreter.
 
Property developer Mr Murat, 34 — cleared last month of any involvement — was also said to have had "enormous knowledge" of the McCanns' holiday complex and their routine. The report added: "He also tried constantly to influence the direction of the investigation."

  • THE McCanns are planning a Crimewatch reconstruction on TV to revitalise the search for Maddie. They are in talks with the BBC to see if a re-enactment can be carried out including the swathes of new information emerging from the released files.

  • Maddie is still alive, 07 August 2008
    Daily Star front cover 07 August 2008
    MADDIE IS STILL ALIVE Daily Star
     
    By Jerry Lawton
    7th August 2008
     
    MADELEINE McCann could be with a travelling circus, according to a Dutch shop worker who is convinced she has seen her alive.
     
    Anna Stam said last night she was "certain" a girl who came into her Amsterdam store a month after Madeleine vanished was the missing child.
     
    She said the girl, who looked just like the missing youngster,– said her name was "Maddie" and told her: "They took me from my holiday."
     
    A woman with the girl told the party shop worker they were attached to a small circus from France.
     
    Last night the McCanns' private eyes appealed to Europe's travelling circus community for help in tracking down the missing girl, who would now be five.
     
    Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell said dozens of witness sightings like Anna's, which had been locked away in police files for 15 months, had given the family fresh hope of finding their daughter alive.
     
    They are now planning to make a new BBC1 Crimewatch appeal using information from the case files made public this week.
     
    He said: "Given that we have a lot of new information it may be something that we revisit. I'm talking to the BBC."
     
    Anna, 41, did not report her sighting to police until last June – a month after it happened – because she had not heard before then of Madeleine's disappearance from her holiday apartment in Portugal.
     
    Her statement lay locked away in police files for over a year.
     
    It was unearthed this week after Portugal's Attorney General cleared Maddie's parents Kate and Gerry, both 40, of any involvement in the disappearance and archived the case as unsolved. He  ordered the evidence to be made public.
     
    Last night Anna said she felt it had been "stupid" of police not to follow up her sighting.
     
    She said: "Madeleine could be somewhere in the world performing with the circus. Who knows? It may have just been a story.
     
    "But I certainly think she could still be alive. I am certain the girl I saw was her."
     
    She added: "I made a statement to Dutch police but was told that the Portuguese detectives thought the girl’s parents were involved.
     
    "I never spoke to anyone from Portugal and never heard another thing. I just hope it’s not too late.
     
    "I think it's stupid of the police. They could have done something more at that time and maybe now it’s too late to find any clue."
     
    She said the girl had dark-brown hair in a ponytail, a pallid face which showed "little or no emotion" and "huge" green-brown eyes, which were very noticeable.
     
    Anna said the girl entered the shop with a man, woman and two other children, according to her statement to Dutch police.
     
    The man – who "did not look like a nice person" – appeared to be speaking Portuguese but the woman spoke in English and told Anna they had a small circus in France.
     
    Anna was at the back of the shop when the girl approached her and asked in unaccented English: "Do you know where my mummy is?" On being told that her mother was a little further back in the store, the child replied: "She is not my mummy."
     
    She added: "She is a stranger. She took me from my mummy."
     
    Yesterday Anna said: "The girl said she was looking for her mummy ... and not for her mother ... she called herself 'Maddie'.
     
    "At first I thought it was 'Maggie', that's why I remember, but she made clear it wasn't Maggie, it was Maddie."
     
    The McCanns' private investigators were last night on their way to Amsterdam to quiz Anna.
     
    They believe the youngster was snatched in her sleep by a people trafficking gang.
     
    A source close to the investigation said: "It is perfectly possible that Madeleine has been sold into a circus community."
     
    They will also investigate a second possible sighting of her in  the Dutch city.
     
    McCANN ROW LED TO KATE MOVING
     
    KATE and Gerry McCann had a row the night before Madeleine disappeared and slept in separate rooms, police files revealed.
     
    And 24 hours later the pair were not sitting next to each other at the tapas bar dinner table when their daughter vanished, according to a seating plan drawn up by Kate.
     
    The police dossier of evidence includes Kate's witness statement from September 6 last year – the day before she was made a suspect in the case.
     
    Detectives asked Madeleine's mother whether she ever slept in her daughter's room in the family's apartment in the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
     
    She confirmed this happened part way through their holiday – on the night of May 2 last year – after she argued with Gerry because he had ignored her at the tapas bar.
     
    The next night Madeleine vanished as her parents ate at the bar with their friends.
     
    The witness statement went on: "She does not know whether Gerry was aware that she slept in the other room as he was already asleep when she left."
     
    Kate also told police that Madeleine had slept in the room she and Gerry occupied the night before.
     
    The police files also reveal the couple did not sit next to each other at dinner on May 3 – when Madeleine vanished.
     
    Kate drew a plan showing where the McCanns and their friends were sitting at the tapas restaurant.
     
    The diagram reveals that Fiona Payne sat between the couple.
     
    The friends on holiday with the McCanns when Madeleine went missing – who have become known as the "Tapas Seven" –  were crucial to the investigation.
     
    They were moving around the Ocean Club complex throughout the evening checking on their children.
     
    TAKEN BY 'SEX RING'
     
    Brit cops received intelligence suggesting Madeleine McCann could have been snatched to order by a Belgian paedophile ring.
     
    Someone took a snap of her on holiday in Portugal and forwarded it to a "purchaser" in Belgium.
     
    The intelligence is in an email dated March 4 this year and sent to Leicestershire Police and forwarded to Portuguese detectives.
     
    It was included in the dossier of evidence in the Madeleine case made public this week.

    Warning from British police Madeleine was 'stolen to order' by Belgian paedophile ring took SIX WEEKS to reach Portuguese, 07 August 2008
    Warning from British police Madeleine was 'stolen to order' by Belgian paedophile ring took SIX WEEKS to reach Portuguese Daily Mail
     
    By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
    Last updated at 10:49 AM on 07th August 2008
    (This is an update/addition to yesterday's 11:13pm article)
     
    An e-mail from British police warning that Madeleine McCann could have been abducted by a Belgian paedophile ring took six weeks to reach detectives in Portugal, it emerged today.
     
    The Metropolitan Police in London received a tip-off 10 months after Madeleine vanished that she had been stolen to order after a 'spotter' saw her on holiday in the Algarve and sent her photograph to the gang's leaders.
     
    Details of the confidential e-mail were revealed in the secret police files made public this week.
     
    But the documents contain no explanation as to why the message sent on March 5 this year by the Met's vice intelligence unit to Leicestershire police, who were co-ordinating the British end of the investigation, was only passed on to officers in Portugal on April 21.
     
    Inspector Ricardo Paiva, one of the detectives working on the case, then sent it to Lisbon Interpol a week later asking them to investigate the claim as a matter of urgency.
     
    More than a month later, Interpol replied that some of the information gathered from around Europe was not credible.
     
    On May 27, Lisbon Interpol sent a further urgent message requesting information but received an undated fax claiming there was nothing to add.
     
    The revelation of a possible link to Belgium – the scene of several notorious child sex cases - came as a second woman claimed to have seen the missing girl in neighbouring Holland.
     
    The message from Scotland Yard read: 'Intelligence suggests that a paedophile ring in Belgium made an order for a young girl three days before Madeleine McCann was taken.
     
    'Somebody connected to this group saw Madeleine and took a photograph of her. The purchaser agreed that the girl was suitable and Madeleine was taken.'
     
    The dramatic development, and the horrific picture it draws, will bring fresh agony to Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann.
     
    It would fit with two claimed sightings of their daughter across the border in the Netherlands, where Belgian paedophiles could hide their victims.
     
    But what prompted the tip-off is unclear, and it seems highly odd that if someone had abducted Madeleine to take her to Belgium, they would let her be seen in Amsterdam.
     
    The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: 'Their private investigators will be pursuing this line as an absolute priority to establish if it has been fully investigated and properly ruled out.
     
    'They have got some of the information already, from their lawyers and investigators, and they are waiting to hear from them what is legitimate, what is promising, and what is not.
     
    'They are frustrated by the delays and the mistakes that were made. They have learned an awful lot about this kind of thing and God forbid she has fallen foul of any of these types.'
     
    Earlier this week it was revealed that Amsterdam shop worker Anna Stam told police within days of Madeleine's disappearance in May last year that she thought she had seen her.
     
    (article continues as before)

    Warning: The e-mail sent by Scotland Yard to Portuguese police
    Warning: The e-mail sent by Scotland Yard to Portuguese police

    Daily Mirror pays for Anna Stam to fly to England to meet the McCanns, 07 August 2008
    Anna saw Maddie, meets McCanns parool.nl
     
    JASPER KARMAN
    07-08-08 11:30
    Thanks to 'Cudlycat' for translation
     
    Anna Stam, from Amsterdam, flew to London last night, to meet the parents of Madeleine McCann, who dissapeared last year. British tabloid The Daily Mirror is paying for the trip so she can tell the parents that she 'maybe' saw Maddie.
     
    Last year a British girl of around 4-years-old asked Stam, an employee of a party shop in Amsterdam east, "if I knew where her mummy was" says Stam. When she pointed to the woman with whom she came in, the girl shaked her head and said:, "That's not my mummy, she's a stranger".
     
    According to Stam the girl said the woman took her away from her mother while on holiday but she couldn't say where. Stam: "Then I asked her name. I first thought she said Maggie but she said 'No, my name is Maddie'."
     
    The news of the kidknap of Madeleine from the apartment in Portugal hadn't reached The Netherlands and when a week later Stam saw a picture of the little girl on TV, she contacted the police. Stam: "I'm not sure if it was really Maddie. But I hope it is of any use for the parents and that they will keep hope to find her back again."

    Madeleine McCann 'spotted in Brussels' after paedophile ring reports, 07 August 2008
    Madeleine McCann 'spotted in Brussels' after paedophile ring reports Telegraph
     
    Madeleine McCann was apparently spotted in Brussels days after she vanished.
     
    By Caroline Gammell in Praia da Luz
    Last Updated: 1:56PM BST 07 Aug 2008
     
    Details of the sighting emerged after official documents showed that British police were tipped off about a Belgian paedophile ring who allegedly stole the girl to order.
     
    The Metropolitan Police's vice squad passed on the information – which suggested that Madeleine's photograph was taken and approved before she was abducted – on to Portuguese police and Interpol earlier this year.
     
    The three-year-old went missing from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Algarve, on May 3 last year.
     
    Belgian Line Compere, 31, told police that she saw Madeleine on a tram in Brussels on May 15 - 12 days later.
     
    In a police interview dated June 1 last year, she said she spied a young girl with a couple on tram 18, heading from Anderlecht to Midi in the centre of the city at about 8.45am.
     
    She said she had been curious because the Eastern European couple did not resemble the blonde-haired, blue eyed girl accompanying them.
     
    At this stage Miss Compere had not seen a picture of Madeleine, but when she saw her photograph on the television later that day, she said she instantly recognised her.
     
    "What immediately leapt out to me was there was a big resemblance between the little girl on the tram and Madeleine," she said.
     
    "She was dressed in pink, like most young girls, had blonde hair and blue eyes and about four years old.
     
    "I can't tell you what language they were speaking but I think they were speaking different languages.
     
    "The couple did not seem to be familiar to each other."
     
    Miss Compere called a child protection group in Belgium who reported the sighting to police, but the couple or child were never traced.
     
    Her witness statement appeared in the extensive Portuguese police dossier into the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance.
     
    The case was closed last month and her parents were cleared of all suspicion.
     
    According to an email sent by the Metropolitan Police a child abduction ring based in Belgium placed an order for a "young girl".
     
    Met officer John Shord wrote to Leicestershire Police on March 4 and the email was passed on to Operation Task – the British end of the investigation into Madeleine McCann.
     
    It said: "Intelligence suggests that a paedophile ring in Belgium made an order for a young girl three days before Madeleine McCann was taken.
     
    "Somebody connected to this group saw Maddie, took a photograph of her and sent it to Belgium. The purchaser agreed that the girl was suitable and Maddie was taken."
     
    The email, which was forwarded to the Portuguese police and Interpol, is now being investigated by the McCann's own investigators.
     
    Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Their private investigators will be pursuing this line as an absolute priority to establish if it has been fully investigated and properly ruled out."
     
    A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Unsubstantiated information was received by CO14 relating to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
     
    "This was passed on to Leicestershire Police on 4th March 2008. The information was further discussed with Leicestershire Police verbally and all possible lines of enquiry were conducted.
     
    "Leicestershire Police passed the information on to the Portuguese authorities."
     
    A Belgium Federal Police spokesman said: "Our police, our missing person team, paedophile unit, are not aware of this information. We are checking with the British police.
     
    "We find it all a bit strange. We are not aware and we have never found a paedophile network in Belgium that could order, sell or buy children like this."
     
    "Belgian Police normally should have been involved via Interpol, I am told, and officials are asking UK Police what is going on."

    Madeleine Paedophile Ring Theory, 07 August 2008
    Madeleine Paedophile Ring Theory 
     
    Aug 7, 2008
     
    There are claims that Madeleine McCann could have been 'snatched to order' by a paedophile ring. The theory is contained in an email from Scotland Yard which has just been made public. Jessica Le Masurier reports.
     
    (00:01:24)

    McCann report intelligence 'flawed', 07 August 2008
    McCann report intelligence 'flawed' WalesOnline
     
    Aug 7 2008
     
    Secret intelligence claiming Madeleine McCann was snatched to order by a Belgian paedophile ring is flawed, sources said.
     
    Private detectives working for the girl's parents are urgently following up the report from an informant disclosed in Portuguese police files.
     
    The tip-off was recorded by an intelligence officer working for Scotland Yard's CO14 clubs and vice unit. But sources said the information was second or even third-hand and impossible to corroborate with forces in the UK or abroad.
     
    It is believed to have been one of dozens of similar reports passed to the unit in the wake of Madeleine's disappearance.
     
    The informant said a photograph of the child on holiday in Portugal was taken and passed to a "purchaser" in Belgium days before she vanished.
     
    The confidential report read: "Intelligence suggests that a paedophile ring in Belgium made an order for a young girl three days before Madeleine McCann was taken.
     
    "Somebody connected to this group saw Maddie, took a photograph of her and sent it to Belgium. The purchaser agreed that the girl was suitable and Maddie was taken."
     
    Portuguese police pursued the lead with Interpol, which gathered further reports from Belgium, the UK, Finland and Germany. But detective Paulo Rebelo, head of the Madeleine inquiry, ruled that all but the German intelligence showed "lack of credibility".
     
    As a result, the Scotland Yard tip-off was added to the massive file of evidence considered during the hunt for Madeleine. A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said everything possible was done to follow up the snippet of information.
     
    Belgium is less than 100 miles from Amsterdam where there have been two possible sightings of the missing youngster.

    Madeleine case 'lead' played down, 07 August 2008
    Madeleine case 'lead' played down BBC News
     
    Page last updated at 17:03 GMT, Thursday, 7 August 2008 18:03 UK
     
    Police sources have played down the significance of an intelligence report suggesting Madeleine McCann might have been kidnapped by a paedophile ring.
     
    The Metropolitan Police got a tip-off from an informant earlier this year and passed it onto Portuguese counterparts.
     
    That line of inquiry was one of thousands of leads detailed in Portuguese files on the disappearance.
     
    It will be followed up by the McCanns' private investigators who are looking at 11,000 pages of evidence.
     
    The Metropolitan Police received the tip-off in March this year - 10 months after Madeleine's disappearance, aged three, in May 2007 while on holiday in the Algarve.
     
    Lack of detail
     
    An anonymous caller claimed that a Belgian paedophile ring had placed an order for a young girl - and that Madeleine was kidnapped in Portugal three days later after a paedophile had 'approved' a photograph taken secretly during the child's holiday.
     
    That information was passed on to Portuguese investigators who, in turn, sought the help of the Belgian police.
     
    Faxes and e-mails in the police files suggest that officers in all three countries found it difficult to pursue the lead because of a lack of detailed information.
     
    Metropolitan Police sources have played down the line of inquiry, stressing that the intelligence was second- or even third-hand and impossible to corroborate.
     
    A spokesman for the Belgian police told the BBC they had received dozens of calls about Madeleine - with varying degrees of credibility.
     
    He added there was not a "shred of evidence" that the country was the base for an international paedophile ring.
     
    Many sightings
     
    Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said he could not comment on sensitive case files which were in the hands of the McCanns' private investigators.
     
    Those files include a 14-volume annexe of reported sightings of Madeleine - from Spain to Serbia, Mexico to Indonesia.
     
    But Portuguese police concluded most were "of little substance and purely speculative".
     
    On 21 July Portuguese prosecutors announced they were shelving the case, although it could be re-opened if credible new evidence came to light.
     
    At the same time the McCanns and Algarve resident Robert Murat were told they were no longer "arguidos", or formal suspects, in the investigation.
     
    They have always strongly denied having had any involvement in what happened to Madeleine.

    Madeleine McCann dossier: Did this Dutch couple snatch Maddy?, 08 August 2008
    Madeleine McCann dossier: Did this Dutch couple snatch Maddy? Daily Mirror
     
    By Ryan Parry
    8/08/2008
     
    Exclusive

    Amsterdam 'suspects'

    This is the mystery couple believed to have been seen with Madeleine McCann three days after she vanished.
     
    The sketches were drawn exclusively for the Mirror by a police artist on the evidence of witness Anna Stam, 41, who saw the trio in Amsterdam.
     
    They show a dark-featured man aged 35-40 with a moustache, who was speaking in Portuguese, and a brown-haired woman in her 40s who was talking French.
     
    Anna, who was flown to London by the Mirror to aid the hunt, said: "They fit the faces I remember. I just hope it's not too late."
     
    The shop assistant claims a girl with the couple told her: "My name is Maddy", adding, "They took me from my holiday".
     
    It emerged yesterday that there were three more sightings of Madeleine, then three, in nearby Belgium in the weeks after she disappeared.
     
    Anna was praying last night she had given new hope to grieving Kate McCann.
     
    Anna was stunned Kate and husband Gerry have still not received her statement about a suspected sighting of missing daughter Madeleine with a mystery couple three days after she vanished.
     
    She said: "I hope something will come of this and Kate and Gerry will find their little girl. I want to help get her back to them.
     
    "I can't believe they didn't know about this. Did these people take Madeleine? We may never know. I only hope it's not too late.
     
    "But now I have a good feeling about this. This is the first time something will be done with the information I gave over a year ago."
     
    Anna, 41, spoke out after arriving in London to meet a police artist and representatives of the McCanns.
     
    Pledging to instruct investigators to make Anna's dramatic sighting a priority, family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "I'm grateful to the Mirror for bringing her to us.
     
    "Her evidence could be very significant. Our investigators will interview her in the next few days."
     
    Anna saw the couple with the Madeleine lookalike in her party shop in Amsterdam on May 6 last year.
     
    The drawings based on her recollection show a dark-featured man of average height, aged 35-40 with small eyes and wearing a moustache. He was speaking Portuguese.
     
    The woman was in her 40s with light brown hair. She was speaking French.
     
    Anna, who claims she has a photographic memory, said the images are far better than a computer e-fit by Dutch police a year ago.
     
    "They're much clearer and more lifelike. They fit the faces I remember.
     
    "I'll never forget the girl. She had her hair in a ponytail, huge green-brown eyes and a pale face which showed no emotion.
     
    "I didn't like the man, he didn't look like a nice person.
     
    "I work in a party shop so most people smile when they come in to buy things.
     
    "But he didn't smile back at me when I smiled at him. He had no sparkle in his eyes.
     
    "He was short with me and seemed angry. I got the feeling he didn't want me to interfere with him and the others."
     
    The woman, she said, seemed "stressed and uncomfortable".
     
    Anna said: "She tried to smile at me but it was out of obligation not from the heart.
     
    "The whole way they reacted made a big impression on me. The man spoke in Portuguese. I know because I have Brazilian friends.
     
    "The woman spoke in French while the little girl spoke English. It didn't seem like a real family."
     
    Anna's sighting emerged in Portuguese police files this week in which she disclosed that the girl told her: "My name is Maddy."
     
    The child said of the woman: "She is not my mummy. They took me from my holiday."
     
    It strengthened fears that Madeleine was snatched to order from her Algarve holiday home in Praia da Luz by a Belgian paedophile gang.
     
    Anna said: "Because this woman spoke French, I immediately thought they would go to Belgium or France.
     
    "The woman told me she was in a station wagon, a larger car. Maybe they were going on a long journey.
     
    "Looking at the artist's drawings make me feel uncomfortable.

    Anna Stam

    "Maybe I could have done something more.
     
    "Maybe the police could have taken it more seriously."
     
    Anna told Dutch police a month later when she saw reports of Madeleine's disappearance.
     
    A full report was sent to Portugal on June 18 last year. It is not known what action was taken.
     
    But the sighting was never made public and Kate and Gerry, both 40, of Rothley, Leics, were never told.
     
    Before meeting a McCann representative at a hotel in East London, Anna said: "When I told police about this, I presumed the McCanns would be told.
     
    "I still can't believe they weren't."
     
    Yesterday Mr Mitchell said McCann investigators would quiz Anna in Dutch.
     
    He said: "The principal is always to speak to a witness in their mother tongue so there's absolutely no confusion over what they saw or heard."
     
    Mr Mitchell again blasted the Portuguese police for not passing Anna's statement to the McCanns.
     
    He said: "Anna did the right thing in contacting the Dutch police. But I find it shocking that the Portuguese police weren't even in touch, either with her or with us.
     
    "If they ruled her sighting out then fine, we'll rule it out as well. But we just don't know at this stage."

    Anna Stam with Clarence Mitchell

    DO YOU KNOW SKETCH PAIR?
     
    If you recognise the people in Anna's sketches, go to www.findmadeleine.com or ring 0845 838 4699.
     
    You can also contact our newsdesk on 020 7293 3831.

    Madeleine McCann: First pictures of Dutch sighting suspects, 08 August 2008
    Mirror suspects
    Madeleine McCann: First pictures of Dutch sighting suspects  Telegraph
     
    New photos of the couple believed to have been seen with Madeleine McCann three days after she disappeared have been released.
     
    By Chris Irvine
    Last Updated: 7:47AM BST 08 Aug 2008
     
    They show a dark-featured man with a moustache in his late 30s, who was speaking in Portuguese when Madeleine was allegedly spotted, and a brown-hair woman in her 40s who was talking French.
     
    The sketches were drawn by a police artist for the Daily Mirror on the evidence of Anna Stam, 41, who claims to have seen the trio in Amsterdam.
     
    Ms Stam's report was one of a number of potential sightings that emerged in the official police files released this week.
     
    According to a witness statement to Dutch police, the girl entered Ms Stam's party shop in early May last year with a man and a woman and two other children.
     
    The man - who "did not look like a nice person" - appeared to be speaking Portuguese but the woman spoke in English, telling Ms Stam they had a small circus in France.
     
    Ms Stam was then approached by the young girl at the back of the shop, who asked her in unaccented English: "Do you know where my mummy is?"
     
    When she was told her mother was in the store, the child replied: "She is not my mummy," adding "She is a stranger, she took me from my mummy."
     
    The Dutch woman thought the girl looked "very much like" Madeleine apart from the colour of her hair.
     
    It emerged yesterday that there were three more sightings of Madeleine, then aged three, in nearby Belgium in the weeks after she disappeared.

    Madeleine McCann dossier: Three sightings in Belgium but police drew blank, 08 August 2008
    Madeleine McCann dossier: Three sightings in Belgium but police drew blank Daily Mirror
     
    By Martin Fricker in Portimao
    8/08/2008
     
    A girl resembling Madeleine McCann was spotted on three separate occasions in Belgium - the first time just 12 days after she vanished, police files reveal.
     
    It is feared that she may have been snatched to order by a Belgian paedophile gang. And that may fit with the sightings of a child looking like Madeleine in neighbouring Holland.
     
    Witnesses say the girl looked just like missing Madeleine but minus her fringe. She was first seen by Line Compere, 31, on a 8.45am tram in Brussels on May 15.
     
    Line said she was suspicious because the girl was with a couple, she thought were East European, had dark hair and did not look like her. She saw a photo of Madeleine on the TV later that day and called a child protection group.
     
    She told police: "What immediately leapt out to me was there was a big resemblance with the eyes of the girl on the tram and Madeleine.
     
    "I can't tell you what language they were speaking but I think they were speaking different languages. The couple did not seem familiar to each other."
     
    It is not certain what action police took but they did not trace the trio.
     
    Line said yesterday: "I was interviewed once by Belgian police who launched an inquiry, and I gave them all the details I knew."
     
    Then 12 days later, on May 27, a Briton saw a child asleep on a train from Brussels to Antwerp and thought she might drugged. She was with a balding, 6ft white man aged about 40. He got off at Mechelen at 9.20pm carrying the sleeping girl. Leicestershire police asked Interpol to check stations and CCTV.
     
    Then on June 2, Gilles Crippiau, 33, saw a girl who looked like Madeleine in a shop in Mouscron, west Belgium. He heard a woman, who was with the girl and a man, speaking English and thought she must be a tourist.
     
    He noticed that the youngster, who he described as having the "pale face of a tired child", looked like Madeleine and kept a watch on them. They put their purchases in a Renault Scenic and drove off. The shop had no CCTV, police files released this week show.

    'I saw girl who looked like Maddie on tram in Brussels': New sighting as McCanns' detectives focus on Belgium, 08 August 2008
    'I saw girl who looked like Maddie on tram in Brussels': New sighting as McCanns' detectives focus on Belgium Daily Mail
     
    By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
    Last updated at 9:56 AM on 08th August 2008

    A Belgian woman has spoken of the moment she spotted a child who looked like Madeleine McCann in Brussels just days after she went missing.

    Line Compere recounted how she saw the girl with an Eastern European couple on a tram heading for the city's train station.

    Her sighting was one of several potential leads revealed in the Portuguese police case files. Detectives are now looking at more than 100 in Belgium alone.

    Miss Compere, 31, spoke out again yesterday after it emerged British police were tipped-off Madeleine may have been snatched for a paedophile ring in Belgium.

    'I made the sighting on a tram. We were on the Number 18 tram from Porte d'Anderlecht going towards the Gare du Midi,' she said.

    'They got off and then got on to the number 51 tram. She really looked like Madeleine, but her hair was different.

    'In the photos I saw of Madeleine, she had a fringe, but this girl did not. She was dressed all in pink and was in a pushchair.

    'I was standing close to her and saw her eyes - they were blue. But I did not notice any marking on her eye.

    'She was with a man and a woman, both between 35 and 40 years old. They were white but had dark hair and looked Eastern European.

    'They were both dressed in dark clothes. The girl looked very different to the adults.'

    She added: 'I was interviewed once by Belgian police who launched an inquiry, and I gave them all the details I knew.'

    The report was passed on to the Portuguese police but it is unclear what action was taken to follow it up.

    Mystery: Madeleine with her two siblings, Sean and Amelie

    According to the Portuguese police case files, Ms Compere said she saw the girl 12 days after Madeleine disappeared in Praia da Luz on May 3 last year.

    She was suspicious because the couple with the youngster did not look like her, appeared to be speaking a different language and did not seem to know her well.

    At the time, she had never seen a picture of Madeleine but later that day was shown a photograph of the missing girl and was struck by the similarity, according to the files.

    In her interview on June 1 last year, she told police: 'When I saw the photo in question, it immediately jumped out to me that there was a big resemblance to the little girl on the tram.'

    Detectives probe 100 'Madeleine sightings' in Belgium after claims she was stolen to order, 08 August 2008
    Detectives probe 100 'Madeleine sightings' in Belgium after claims she was stolen to order Daily Mail
     
    By VANESSA ALLEN and EMILY ANDREWS
    Last updated at 10:00 AM on 08th August 2008
     
    Detectives are investigating more than 100 Madeleine McCann ' sightings' in Belgium following a warning she could have been stolen to order for a paedophile ring.
     
    Interpol officials in Brussels said they had received 107 reports since she vanished from Portugal on May 3 last year.
     
    It is understood to be the largest number of reported sightings outside Spain and Portugal.
     
    Private detectives working for Kate and Gerry McCann have said that they will check the most credible sightings.
     
    It emerged yesterday that a secret British police report had warned of 'intelligence' suggesting Madeleine had been sold to a Belgian child sex gang by a 'spotter' in the Algarve.
     
    Scotland Yard attempted to play down the email, sent by one of its officers in March this year, and said the tip-off was unproven and could have been wrong.
     
    But the mammoth Portuguese police files released this week revealed a series of sightings around Belgium in May and June last year. 
     
    On May 15, Belgian woman Line Compere reported seeing a girl resembling Madeleine with an Eastern European couple on a tram in Brussels.
     
    She said: 'It was obvious she was not their child and they were behaving quite strangely. I thought she looked lost somehow.
     
    At that point I had not seen a picture of Madeleine and I didn't know what she looked like, but when I saw a picture of her later I knew it was her.'
     
    Twelve days later a British man said he saw a similar-looking girl asleep on a train from Brussels to Antwerp and feared the child could have been drugged.
     
    Then on June 2, Belgian man Gilles Crippiau told police about a sighting in a shop in the town of Mouscron near the French border.
     
    The girl, who had big eyes and a pale, 'tired' face, was with an English-speaking woman who drove her away in a grey Renault Scenic.
     
    Mr Crippiau said: 'Once back home I looked at a photo of the little McCann child and I was struck by the resemblance to the girl I had seen in the shop. '
     
    Belgian police contacted the shop's manager but were told there were no CCTV cameras inside. Meanwhile a Dutch witness who said she saw a girl in Amsterdam who called herself 'Maddie' has met with the McCann's spokesman Clarence Mitchell.
     
    Anna Stam, 41, was flown to Britain by a tabloid newspaper and is understood to have helped draw an artist's impression of the people she saw.
     
    Interpol official Alain Remue, the chief commanding officer of the Belgium Federal Police's missing persons unit, said a special hotline had received 107 witness reports related to Madeleine's disappearance.
     
    He said 67 were too vague to be properly investigated. The remaining 36 were investigated and passed to Interpol's Lisbon bureau but there was no response from Portugal. Portugal's attorney-general formally shelved the investigation last month and cleared Mr and Mrs McCann, both 40, as official suspects in their daughter's disappearance.
     
    Mr Remue said his officers had been able to rule out some of the Belgian sightings, including a 'strong' witness report from the Dutch border last August. The girl was later found to be a Dutch girl who was seen with her family.
     
    The Portuguese police files detail only a handful of the Belgian sightings.
     
    The Worldwide Hunt
     
    Sightings of Madeleine McCann across the world have varied from the credible to the absurd.
     
    One well-meaning British diplomat even sparked a major incident in Guatemala when he thought he had seen the girl.
     
    The Consul to the Central American republic told police he believed he had seen a girl who 'bore a striking resemblance to Madeleine' in a shopping mall in Guatemala City in June last year.
     
    It proved to be a false alarm but the girl's father, one of the city's leading lawyers, accused the British Government of intending to kidnap his daughter and demanded a formal written apology from the British Embassy.
     
    There have also been incidents where would-be helpers have accosted parents with blonde daughters, demanding to see their eyes to check if they have Madeleine's distinctive fleck. The McCann's spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: 'Investigators have the capacity to move quickly to any part of the world.
     
    'For example there was a sighting in Chile a couple of months ago and we had people on the ground - within the building she was supposed to have been seen in - in three hours.'

    Pictured: The couple 'spotted in Amsterdam with Maddie lookalike', 08 August 2008
    Pictured: The couple 'spotted in Amsterdam with Maddie lookalike' Daily Mail
     
    By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
    Last updated at 10:53 AM on 08th August 2008
     
    These are the first pictures of a couple seen with the little girl who told a shopkeeper in Holland 'My name is Maddie, they took me from my holiday'.
     
    The artist's impressions were created with the help of Anna Stam who saw the girl in her party shop in Amsterdam days after Madeleine McCann vanished.
     
    The sketches, first published in the Daily Mirror, show a swarthy man aged 35-40 with a moustache and a woman in her 40s with brown hair.
     
    The man was speaking in Portuguese and the woman in French, according to the paper.

    Sighting: Artist's impressions of the couple seen with a young girl who looked like Madeleine McCann in Holland
    Sighting: Artist's impressions of the couple seen with a young girl who looked like Madeleine McCann

    Ms Stam told the Mirror: 'They fit the faces I remember. I just hope its not too late and we can do some good.'

    Her report was one of a number of potential sightings that emerged in the official police files released this week. The MCanns are now treating it as a priority.

    The girl entered Ms Stam's party shop in early May last year with a man and a woman and two other children, according to a witness statement to Dutch police.

    The man - who 'did not look like a nice person' - appeared to be speaking Portuguese but the woman spoke in English and told Ms Stam they had a small circus in France.

    Ms Stam, 41, was at the back of the shop when the young girl approached her and asked in unaccented English: 'Do you know where my mummy is?'

    On being told that her mother was a little further back in the store, the child replied, 'She is not my mummy,' and added: 'She is a stranger, she took me from my mummy.'

    The Dutchwoman said she thought the girl looked 'very much like' Madeleine apart from the colour of her hair.

    Madeleine was nearly four when she vanished from her family's holiday flat in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz on May 3 last year.

    Private detectives working for her parents Kate and Gerry McCann were investigating Ms Stam's account as well as pursuing newly-revealed leads pointing to a possible Belgian link to their daughter’s disappearance.

    The McCanns' investigators are also looking into a Scotland Yard report suggesting the child may have been snatched to order for a Belgian paedophile ring, despite a warning that the intelligence is 'flawed'.

    The police files also revealed a string of possible sightings in Belgium.

    The Scotland Yard paedophile ring tip-off was contained in an email from the Metropolitan Police's CO14 clubs and vice unit sent to Leicestershire Police and forwarded to Portuguese detectives.

    An informant claimed a photograph was taken of Madeleine on holiday in Portugal and passed to a 'purchaser' in Belgium days before she vanished.

    Sources cautioned that the information was second or even third-hand and impossible to corroborate with forces in the UK or abroad.

    Portuguese police pursued the lead, requesting assistance from Belgium via Interpol, but only limited information was available and the trail ran cold.

    The McCanns' lawyers are now sifting through the massive police dossier of thousands of pages of evidence looking for credible clues that the couple’s private investigators can pursue.

    On July 21 Portuguese prosecutors announced they were shelving the Madeleine McCann case, although it can be reopened if credible new evidence comes to light.

    At the same time the McCanns and Algarve resident Robert Murat were told they were no longer 'arguidos', or formal suspects, in the investigation.

    Maddie: We warned Portuguese, say Vice Squad, 08 August 2008
    Maddie: We warned Portuguese, say Vice Squad Daily Express
     
    By Martin Evans
    Friday August 8, 2008
     
    BRITISH police did everything in their power to investigate claims that Madeleine McCann had been snatched by an international paedophile ring, they insisted last night.
     
    Officers working for CO14, a special­ised vice unit within the Metropolitan Police, wrote to their Portuguese counterparts in March warning them they had intelligence that the three-year-old had been kidnapped to order by a Belgian gang.
     
    The Policia Judiciaria then contacted Interpol and asked them to investigate further. But just weeks later Portuguese police chiefs shelved the line of inquiry, claiming it lacked credibility.
     
    Private detectives working for Kate and Gerry McCann are now urgently examining the information to see if any more could have been done to check out the anonymous tip-off.
     
    An email sent by John Shord of the Metropolitan's Vice and Clubs Unit in March to Leicestershire Police – who were coordinating the UK end of the Madeleine case – read: "Intelligence suggests that a paedophile ring in Belgium made an order for a young girl three days before Madeleine McCann was taken.
     
    "Somebody connected to this group saw Maddie, took a photograph of her and sent it to Belgium.
     
    "The purchaser agreed that the girl was suitable and Maddie was taken."
     
    Interpol contacted its departments in London, Belgium, Germany and Finland to gather more information about European paedophile gangs.
     
    But detective Paulo Rebelo, head of the Madeleine inquiry, ruled that all but the German intelligence showed "lack of credibility".
     
    As a result, the Scotland Yard tip-off was added to the massive file of evidence considered during the hunt for Madeleine.
     
    Belgium is less than 100 miles from Amsterdam, where there have been two highly credible possible sightings of the missing youngster.
     
    McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell refused to comment on "sensitive" information found in the Portu­guese police case files.
     
    He said: "Clearly, with any information of that nature, Kate and Gerry would hope that the Portuguese police in conjunction with Interpol have acted to the absolute best of their ability in following this up."

    'I spotted Maddie on Belgian tram' and other 'sightings', 08 August 2008
    I spotted Maddie on Belgian tram The Sun
     
    From LUCY HAGAN in Brussels and VERONICA LORRAINE in Praia da Luz
    Published: Today, Friday August 08, 2008
     
    A WOMAN who is convinced she saw Madeleine McCann wearing beach shoes on a city tram in Belgium told The Sun last night how cops ignored her.
     
    The sighting by supermarket buyer Line Compere came just 12 days after Maddie was snatched from her family’s holiday apartment in Portugal.
     
    Line, 31, is one of THREE credible witnesses who say they saw the five-year-old in Belgium during the same period.
     
    The sightings come on top of three more in neighbouring Holland and fears expressed by Scotland Yard that Maddie was stolen to order by a Belgian paedophile ring.
     
    They also suggest a trail of movement across the Low Countries by the tot and her kidnappers.
     
    Information buried in the Maddie files released by Portuguese police shows that 107 sightings were reported to Belgian cops and passed on to Portugal.
     
    Thirty-six were investigated, 34 were deemed too vague and 37 came from clairvoyants.
     
    But all were virtually ignored by the Portuguese detectives heading the case.
     
    Line reported seeing a girl of Maddie's description on a No18 tram heading towards Brussels' Eurostar station the Gare du Midi at 8.45am on May 15 last year.
     
    She was with a man and a woman. Line told The Sun: "I thought it was strange because they didn't look alike physically. They definitely were not from the same family."
     
    Her suspicions were further aroused when the three seemed to be communicating in different languages.
     
    She said: "The couple looked to me as if they came from East Europe and were between 35 and 40.
     
    "It looked as if life had taken its toll on them — they looked rough.
     
    "The little girl was dancing in the tram and at one point they told her to sit down. She was dressed as if she were going to the beach, with plastic beach shoes and no socks.
     
    "She also had a jacket with a hood. The couple had a red pushchair."
     
    Line observed the trio for 15 minutes before getting off the tram. At the time she had not heard of Maddie. But later that day a friend emailed her with news of the girl's disappearance along with a photo of her.
     
    Line said: "I put the two together instantly." She contacted the missing children network Child Focus. But she said: "They didn't take the call seriously. I had to call again and insist they take notice.
     
    "They then passed my details on to the federal police, who sent around a woman officer several weeks later."
     
    As far as she is aware, her report was not followed up.
     
    The case files show a girl looking like Maddie was spotted in the Belgian town of Mouscron, near the French border, on June 2 last year.
     
    Gilles Crippiau, 33, saw her in a shop called O Cool with an English-speaking woman.
     
    He said the girl was about three with big eyes and the pale face of a tired child.
     
    He told Belgian police: "Once back home I looked at a photo of the little McCann child and I was struck by the resemblance."
     
    The files also reveal a British national saw a girl like Maddie asleep, possibly drugged, on a Brussels to Antwerp train on May 27 last year.
     
    She was with a 6ft man who carried her off at Medechen.
     
    The Sun has told this week of two sightings in Amsterdam by party goods shop worker Anna Stam, 41, and pensioner Hannie Weichmann, 71.
     
    And yesterday it emerged a man saw a little girl sitting on her own and crying in the Panorama restaurant at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.
     
    Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for Maddie's parents Kate and Gerry, said all credible leads would be quickly followed up by private detectives working for the family.
     
    Fears that a Belgian paedophile ring grabbed Maddie were reflected in an email sent by a Metropolitan Police intelligence unit to the Leicestershire force, who led the British end of the inquiry.
     
    It said an informant claimed the ring ordered a young girl to be abducted three days before Maddie vanished — and chose her after a photo was taken in Praia da Luz.
     
    Yesterday a senior Met source said the email had a strong proviso attached saying the information could not be substantiated.
     
    The source added: "We have no way of knowing whether it was accurate. Nor is there any realistic chance of finding out more details from this particular source."
     
    May, 2007: Amsterdam The Sun
     
    From LUCY HAGAN in Brussels and VERONICA LORRAINE in Praia da Luz
    Published: Today, Friday 08 August 2008
     
    ANNA Stam is asked by a little girl in the fancy dress shop where she works: "Do you know where my mummy is?"
     
    The 41-year-old tells her that her mum, who she believes the girl came in with, is further back in the shop.
     
    The girl says: "She's not my mummy . . . she is a stranger. She took me from my mummy."
     
    Anna tells cops of the sighting in Middenweg, Amsterdam, in June.
     
    May, 2007: Amsterdam The Sun
     
    From LUCY HAGAN in Brussels and VERONICA LORRAINE in Praia da Luz
    Published: Today, Friday 08 August 2008
     
    HANNIE Weichmann, 71, sees a girl in pink with an anxious woman in the Weteringsplantsoen area of Amsterdam.
     
    The woman, aged about 30, and the youngster are speaking English and the woman does not look as though she's used to children.
     
    Hannie calls police after the woman tells her she's a tourist who is babysitting the girl.
     
    She said: "Those eyes. I knew it was her."
     
    May 15, 2007: Brussels, Belgium The Sun
     
    From LUCY HAGAN in Brussels and VERONICA LORRAINE in Praia da Luz
    Published: Today, Friday 08 August 2008
     
    SUPERMARKET buyer Line Compere, 31, spots a young girl looking "very much" like Maddie on a No18 tram heading for the Gare du Midi rail station.
     
    Her suspicions are aroused because a couple with the youngster do not look like her, talk in a different language and seem "rough".
     
    Even though the girl is in the middle of a city, she is wearing beach-style shoes and no socks.
     
    After seeing a photo of Maddie later that day, Line is convinced the child on the tram is her.
     
    May 27, 2007: Brussels to Antwerp train The Sun
     
    From LUCY HAGAN in Brussels and VERONICA LORRAINE in Praia da Luz
    Published: Today, Friday 08 August 2008
     
    BRITON spots lookalike child asleep on a train from Brussels to Antwerp.
     
    It appeared as if the girl could have been drugged.
     
    She was accompanied by a balding 6ft white man aged about 40 wearing sports clothes.
     
    The man got off the train at Mechelen carrying the child. The sighting was reported to cops.
     
    May 28, 2007: Schiphol Airport The Sun
     
    From LUCY HAGAN in Brussels and VERONICA LORRAINE in Praia da Luz
    Published: Today, Friday 08 August 2008
     
    MAN sees a little girl sitting and crying on her own at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport at 9.30am.
     
    She looked the same age and size as Maddie and had her hair tied back in a pony tail.
     
    A white man went up to the child but did not appear to be very close to her.
     
    Call was passed on to Crimestoppers.
     
    June 2, 2007: Mouscron, Belgium The Sun
     
    From LUCY HAGAN in Brussels and VERONICA LORRAINE in Praia da Luz
    Published: Today, Friday 08 August 2008
     
    BELGIAN Gilles Crippiau sees a girl aged about three, looking tired and pale, with an English-speaking woman in a shop.
     
    He watches as the woman puts purchases in a Renault Scenic before driving off with the child.
     
    Sick Nation The Sun
     
    Published: Today, Friday August 08, 2008
     
    BELGIUM, a nation of only 10million people, is plagued by paedophiles. Rapes and sex crimes are more likely to involve children than adult victims.

    At least two people a day are sentenced for sexual assault or rape involving minors. In 2003, the last year official figures were available, almost 850 paedos were jailed.

    The authorities believe many may be copying countryman Marc Dutroux, 51 — convicted of sexually abusing six girls aged eight to 19 in the mid-90s. He killed two.

    It is claimed he was in a paedophile ring. Two girls were also raped and murdered in Liege in eastern Belgium in 2006.
    New leads on missing Madeleine, 08 August 2008
    New leads on missing Madeleine Daily Mirror
     
    Friday August 08, 2008
     
     
    A cluster of new leads in Holland and Belgium are being examined by detectives leading the search for Madeleine McCann.

    With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files

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