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The McCanns and the Conman - Channel 5*

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The McCanns and the Conman

This documentary explores the story of Kevin Halligen.

A transcript is currently being tidied up and will be published shortly

The McCanns and the Conman [to be broadcast on Channel 5, Wednesday 04 June 2014], 22 May 2014
 
The McCanns and the Conman TVRage

The McCanns and the Conman (to be broadcast on Channel 5, 03 June 2014)

 

[Text version of above]

Classification: Documentary
Genre: Crime | Current Events
Status: New Series
Network: Channel 5 ( United Kingdom)
Airs: Wednesdays at 09:00 pm
Runtime: 60 Minutes
Premiere: June 03, 2014

------------------

Updated:

The McCanns and the Conman TVRage

Kevin Halligen

 

This documentary explores the story of 'Operation Omega' in which a man named Kevin Halligen convinced the parents of missing Madeleine McCann, he was a secret agent. It soon transpired he had actually been conning the family the whole time, however, evidence he had gathered has since been used in the Scotland Yard case. In this film, ex-FBI agents, ex-military officers and ex-MI5 personnel discuss the con and the subsequent use of evidence.

Episode Info

The McCanns and the Conman: Episode Info

 

[Text as previously. Note: If the programme is broadcast on Wednesday, the date should be 04 June not 03 June]

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Further promotion of the show:

The McCanns and the Conman
TVCatchup

 
Kevin Halligen

Channel
Start
Channel 5
9:00pm Wed, 4 Jun
Duration
1 hour

Former operatives for MI5 and the FBI and ex-military personnel talk about security consultant Kevin Halligen, who touted himself as a spy and set up an investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in 2008. It transpired that Halligen was not a secret agent, but significant information and leads uncovered during his Operation Omega have gone on to form a part of the current Scotland Yard inquiry to find out what happened to the girl

EXCLUSIVE: Madeleine McCann bogus super-spy 'will crack case', 27 May 2014
EXCLUSIVE: Madeleine McCann bogus super-spy 'will crack case' Daily Star

A BOGUS super-spy hired by Madeleine McCann’s parents could solve the case.

By Jerry Lawton / Published 27th May 2014

MISSING: Police are still investigating the perplexing disappearance of Madeleine McCann [EPA]

A new TV shock documentary tells how he identified the prime suspect in the mystery.

A year after the then three-year-old's 2007 disappearance, Irishman Kevin Halligen, 52, signed a £500,000 deal to locate her.

Boasting of connections with MI5, MI6, the CIA, FBI, and the White House he planned to use hi-tech surveillance techniques.

But his contract was terminated after organisers of the public fund set up to find the youngster decided he had failed to honour their agreement.

Halligen was then arrested and extradited to the US where he was jailed last year for 44 months after admitting defrauding a different client out of $2.1m.

Madeleine's doctor parents Kate, 46, and Gerry, 45, were understood to be considering suing Halligen over his Operation Omega probe into their daughter's disappearance.

But according to a new Channel 5 documentary Halligen's operatives may end up solving the mystery. They identified as the prime suspect a man seen heading towards the beach in Praia da Luz, Portugal, clutching a sleeping blonde girl around 10pm the night Madeleine vanished.

Halligen's investigators convinced the Irish family who saw her to help produce an e-fit. That man is now the Metropolitan Police's No1 suspect.

Detectives believe he may be a serial sex attacker who targeted a string of other Brit girls on the Algarve.

In the documentary, The McCanns And The Conman – due to be screened on June 4 – recently freed Halligen will speak for the first time about his theory.

A spokesman for Channel 5 said: "The McCanns trusted Kevin Halligen to bring her home."

Halligen was allegedly spending significant amounts of the cash meant to help find Madeleine on his luxury lifestyle.

Channel 5's Emma Westcott said: "This is the extraordinary story of one man's claims, and how he exploited the nightmare of a missing child."

Maddie fake spy 'will crack case', 27 May 2014
Maddie fake spy 'will crack case' Daily Star (paper edition, page 11)

TV documentary shock

Maddie fake spy 'will crack case' - Daily Star, 27 May 2014 (paper edition, page 11)

[Text of article as per online version: 'Madeleine McCann bogus super-spy 'will crack case'', published 27 May 2014 (above)]

Madeleine McCann private eye breaks his silence on the hunt in a new Channel 5 documentary, 27 May 2014
Madeleine McCann private eye breaks his silence on the hunt in a new Channel 5 documentary Daily Express

THE private investigator behind the 2008 operation to find Madeleine McCann will speak for the first time about his search for the youngster.

By: John Chapman
Published: Tue, May 27, 2014

The new documentary will air next week on Channel 5[PA]

Kevin Halligen will break his silence in an exclusive Channel 5 interview for a documentary, The McCanns And The Conman.

The 53-year-old set up Operation Omega after being commissioned by parents Kate and Gerry McCann to find Maddy, who vanished at the age of three while on holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007.

Halligan, a Surrey-based Irishman, promised to use his MI5, MI6 and CIA "contacts" to try to track down the girl.

The security consultant signed a six-figure contract – but questions were later raised over exactly how the money was spent.

Now Halligen, who also claimed to have FBI and White House connections, has agreed to tell his side of the story.

The documentary, due to be screened next week, reads like the plot of a spy movie.

It is an extraordinary tale of covert surveillance, sting operations and the bugging of a key witness through the twists and turns of the hunt for a man who was then a prime suspect, code-named "George".

Halligen's final report is said to contain significant leads that now form part of the current Scotland Yard investigation, including the crucial e-fits based on the so-called "Smith sighting", which was aired on Crimewatch last October.

But it transpired that Halligen was an audacious conman, who led people into believing he was a spy.

He was arrested in 2009 and jailed in the US for defrauding an unrelated client on a previous kidnap and ransom case.

He has recently been released from prison.

Channel 5's Emma Westcott said: "This is the extraordinary story of one man’s audacious claims, and how he fooled the intelligence community."

• The McCanns And The Conman, Channel 5, June 4, 9pm.

Conman in Madeleine cash claims, 27 May 2014
 
Conman in Madeleine cash claims The Scotsman (paper edition)

 
Conman in Madeleine cash claims - The Scotsman, 27 May 2014 (paper edition)

 

A CONMAN hired to find Madeleine McCann - only to allegedly use public donations to fund an extravagant lifestyle - has spoken about the search for the first time.

Kevin Halligen led a £500,000 investigation after the girl vanished, claiming to have contacts within MI5 and the CIA. But it is claimed he led a 'high-roller lifestyle' on public donations.

FULL STORY, PAGE 11

----------------

Conman in Madeleine McCann cash claims The Scotsman

Madeleine McCann vanished on holiday in Portugal in 2007. Picture: PA

by CHRIS MARSHALL
Published on 27 May 2014 00:17


A CONMAN who allegedly used public donations designed to find Madeleine McCann to fund his extravagant lifestyle has spoken about his role in the search for the first time.

Kevin Halligen led a £500,000 investigation into Madeleine's disappearance after claiming to have contacts within MI5, the CIA and even the White House.

But it is claimed he spent large amounts of the cash on his "high-roller lifestyle", while neglecting to pay his "Operation Omega" team in the Algarve 
resort of Praia da Luz.

Halligen, recently released from a four-year jail term for an unrelated crime, tells his story for the first time as part of a TV documentary to be screened next week, it emerged yesterday.

A year after Madeleine's disappearance in 2007, Kate and Gerry McCann hired Halligen as a private investigator. He reportedly spent much of the money on luxury hotels, restaurants and a chauffeur.

But despite neglecting his Operation Omega team, the new film claims the investigators made significant breakthroughs in the hunt for the missing child.

The team's final report in 2008 is said to have contained leads which are now forming part of the current Scotland Yard investigation, including a sighting by retired businessman Martin Smith which led to an e-fit shown on Crimewatch last year.

Halligen's firm, Oakley International, had its contract terminated by the McCanns after questions were raised about the quality of its work.

The Irishman was found guilty last year by an American court of defrauding Dutch firm Trafigura of £1.2 million, with his sentence backdated to his arrest in 2009.

Another of Halligen's firms, Red Defence International, was hired as a consultant after two of Trafigura's executives were taken hostage in the Ivory Coast.

Halligen claimed to have racked up £1.2m in expenses during the rescue operation, but had actually spent the money on a home in Virginia.

Emma Westcott, commissioning editor of factual programmes for Channel 5, said: "It's seven years since Madeleine McCann disappeared and it remains one of the most troubling mysteries of our time. This documentary is the extraordinary story of one man's audacious claims, and how he not only fooled the intelligence community at the highest level, but cynically exploited the nightmare of a missing child and her family."

In 2010, a Sunday newspaper investigation claimed Halligen went on a spending spree while in the pay of the Find Madeleine Fund. According to the report, in his first two months as lead investigator in the search for Madeleine, Halligen spent £7,000 on a chauffeur.

A few months later, on a short trip to New York with a girlfriend, he spent £1,600 on Salvatore Ferragamo leather goods, £5,500 on handbags, £500 on a meal, £150 on a pair of designer glasses and £900 on a three-night stay at the five-star Renaissance Hotel.

The McCanns and the 
Conman
will be screened on Wednesday 4 June on Channel 5.

Conman's clues 'are key to Maddie hunt', 27 May 2014
 
Conman's clues 'are key to Maddie hunt' The Sun (paper edition, page 8)

 
Conman's clues 'are key to Maddie hunt' - The Sun, 27 May 2014 (paper edition, page 8)

By MATT WILKINSON
Tuesday, 27 May, 2014


FINDINGS by a conman exposed by The Sun form part of the Met's fresh £6million probe into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Kevin Halligen, 54, was employed by parents Kate and Gerry to trace their tot when he lied that he was a spy who worked for MI5 and the CIA.

He later went on the run after allegedly swindling £300,000 out of the fund to find Madeleine.

Yet his dossier of evidence is said to be key to Scotland Yard's new probe, which will include searching plots of land near to where Madeleine, left, then three, went missing in 2007. Halligen's findings include the sighting of a man carrying a child in pyjamas.

Another lead is a new e-fit of a man nicknamed George - because he looked like Beatle George Harrison - seen near the family's holiday flat in Portugal.

After going on the run, Halligen was found by The Sun at an Oxford hotel and he was extradited to the US where he was given 41 months' jail for fraud.

Now free, he speaks for the first time in a Channel Five documentary, The McCanns and The Conman, to be shown on June 4.

Asked about the Halligen link, the Met said: "We will not give a running commentary on an ongoing investigation."

The Man Who Conned The McCanns, 29 May 2014
The Man Who Conned The McCanns Channel 5

 
The Man Who Conned The McCanns, Channel 5

 

CHANNEL 5: Wed 21:00 4 Jun

With unprecedented access, this film looks at Operation Omega, the secret private investigation to find missing child Madeleine McCann in 2008. Following the investigation set up by security consultant Kevin Halligen, this one-off documentary features exclusive interviews with ex-MI5 undercover operatives, the FBI and ex-military personnel.

As the investigation went on, it transpired that Kevin Halligen was not a spy but one of the world's most audacious conmen. Despite this, significant information and leads uncovered from Operation Omega have gone on to forma part of the current Scotland Yard inquiry to find out what happened to Madeleine McCann.

Featuring interviews and evidence never before seen or heard, including an interview with Halligen himself, this film tells an untold story about the search for Madeleine McCann.

---------------
Later reversion (29 May 2014) to original title:

The McCanns and the Conman Channel 5

 
The Man Who Conned The McCanns, Channel 5

 

CHANNEL 5: Wed 21:00 4 Jun

With unprecedented access, this film looks at Operation Omega, the secret private investigation to find missing child Madeleine McCann in 2008. Following the investigation set up by security consultant Kevin Halligen, this one-off documentary features exclusive interviews with ex-MI5 undercover operatives, the FBI and ex-military personnel.

As the investigation went on, it transpired that Kevin Halligen was not a spy but one of the world's most audacious conmen. Despite this, significant information and leads uncovered from Operation Omega have gone on to forma part of the current Scotland Yard inquiry to find out what happened to Madeleine McCann.

Featuring interviews and evidence never before seen or heard, including an interview with Halligen himself, this film tells an untold story about the search for Madeleine McCann.

-------------------

The McCanns and the Conman - Trailer Channel 5

 
The McCanns and the Conman

 
The McCanns and the Conman

 
The McCanns and the Conman

 
The McCanns and the Conman

We look at Operation Omega, the private investigation to find Madeleine McCann in 2008.

--------------------

Transcript

By Nigel Moore

Voice Over: In the hunt for Madeleine McCann...

Man 1: They had been promised satellite imagery of their daughter being abducted.

Voice Over: How did one man's deception...

Man 2: He's a very good conman.

Kevin Halligen: The money is fully accountable.

Voice Over: Uncover the most significant breakthrough in the case.

The McCanns and the Conman.

Nine o'clock on Wednesday, exclusive to Channel 5.

 

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files

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