Anorak News | Madeleine McCann: appeal leads to arrest of man suspected of attempting kidnap in Costa Teguise, Lanzarote

Madeleine McCann: appeal leads to arrest of man suspected of attempting kidnap in Costa Teguise, Lanzarote

by | 11th, April 2013

mccann lanzarote“HUNT FOR NEW MADDIE FIEND,” declares the Daily Star’s front-page headline.

Keyan Milanian reports:

A BRIT has spoken of the “shocking” moment his daughter was caught up in a suspected kidnap bid that mirrored the Madeleine McCann case.

A child was asleep in her rented apartment? Her parents were out? Then she vanished? And what of Ben Needham?

The dad of three, from Milton Keynes, Bucks, had been shopping on holiday in Costa Teguise, Lanzarote, when his girl vanished.

He spotted her flashing trainers disappearing round a corner.

She was wearing them:

He told the Daily Star: “There was a man leading her off by the wrist. I shouted, ‘Oi! What the f*** are you doing?’ I grabbed her but he wouldn’t make eye contact and walked off. I think she was in shock and knew something was very wrong.”

Maybe the man thought the child was lost and was taking her to safety? Maybe he was a child thief?

Later the family spotted the man, believed to be British, again close to young girls near the beach and the dad took the photo.


The suspect denied any wrongdoing, claiming he was on a drying-out weekend organised by Alcoholics Anonymous and had thought the girl was lost.

Fair enough, no? Or are all adults now suspected child abductors? What to do?

The dad, who asked to remain anonymous, said the family reported the incident to Spanish police and British police when they returned home.


The incident bears frightening similarities to the McCann case, when three-year-old Maddie went missing in Portugal in 2007.

Well, both children were on holiday. Both were aged 3. But one went missing in 2007 and hasn’t been seen since. The other was reunited with her dad after a short period.

The dad added: “We’re lucky, we got her back. I believe he was an opportunist. If he’s innocent I want police to tell me that.”

But the man told you that. Still…

Det Const John Swallow, of Thames Valley Police , said: “Anyone who recognises him or has information on his whereabouts should contact us.”

Fair enough.

Another source close to the McCanns said: “Again this is proof that British youngsters are potentially vulnerable while away on holiday.”

In the Daily Mail, more news. It claims:

Man, 62, arrested over the attempted kidnap of a British girl, 3, who ‘was lured away from her father in a shop in Lanzarote’

So. It was an attempted kidnap. He lured her away. He was not helping her. The Mail alleges:

Toddler from Buckinghamshire snatched on holiday in Costa Teguise


The family were on the beach a short time later and saw the same man, who spoke fluent English, sitting between some rocks and acting suspiciously…

The incident happened on January 30 last year, but Thames Valley Police spokesman said the delay in issuing the pictures was due to Spanish police having to exhaust their investigation before the appeal to find the man could move to Britain.

A near six-year search for Madeleine has yet to solve the mystery of her disappearance from the Algarve resort of Praia da Luiz on May 3, 2007.

It’s hard to see how this can go anywhere. The man was arrested. He says he was helping a lost child. The father was understandably worried and angry. And that’s it.

More to follow…

Posted: 11th, April 2013 | In: Madeleine McCann, Reviews Comments (3) | TrackBack | Permalink