Alan and Cindy Thompson were questioned for three hours at the weekend by officers from Leicestershire Police’s Madeleine McCann task force.
Cindy, who handed over the foreign number, said yesterday: “The detective who interviewed me asked for Ray’s number. He didn’t say what they’ll do with it, I just hope it helps in some way.”
Officers could use the number to access phone company records dating back to May 3, 2007, the day Madeleine vanished from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz.
The records will show which mobile phone masts Hewlett’s phone connected to on specific dates.
The information may help officers track Hewlett’s movements the night Madeleine went missing and over the following days.
Alan said the detective who spoke to him was keen for information about the dilapidated Dodge truck Hewlett was driving at the time Madeleine vanished and which he later took to Morocco.
Alan said: “The officer asked what sort of truck it was and where I thought it was now. I told him it was a very distinctive blue Dodge truck with English plates, maybe beginning with a D or a G.
“I also told them that friends in Portugal told me that the truck is in Alvor, a town near Albufeira in the Algarve.”
The detectives who interviewed Alan and Cindy in East London’s Limehouse police station told them all the information would be passed on to Portuguese police.
Hewlett, who has been jailed three times for attacks on young girls, is currently in hospital in Aachen, Germany, recovering from throat cancer surgery.
Investigators working for Kate and Gerry
McCann arrived in the city last night in the
hope of interviewing Hewlett, possibly even
today. Detectives from West Yorkshire are
currently waiting for permission from the
German authorities to question Hewlett in
connection with an unsolved indecent assault
German police also plan to take a DNA swab from Hewlett to check it against traces obtained during the Madeleine investigation conducted by Portuguese police.
A couple who met Hewlett when he and his family were staying at a campsite in Morocco yesterday said he had told them he knew the Ocean Club resort where the McCanns stayed extremely well.
Peter and Nisrine Verran, who chatted to Hewlett shortly after Madeleine’s disappearance, said the ex-fair-ground worker seemed obsessed with the case.
He told them he had parked a van near the McCanns’ apartment complex on several occasions.
Peter, 46, said: “He brought Madeleine up straight away.
He said his three-year-old daughter looked like her.
“He was worried because there had been reports that Madeleine may have been spirited away to Morocco, people might think his child was her. Then he suddenly said ‘Madeleine’s not in Morocco’.
“I asked him what he meant and he said he knew Praia Da Luz really well. He knew the Ocean Club complex where the McCanns had been staying. He said he’d been there many times and often parked his van close to the apartment.”
The Mirror revealed last week that the Thompsons were on an extended holiday in Portugal in 2006 when they befriended Hewlett, his German wife Mariana and their six children.
It was only after they returned to the UK they learned about Hewlett’s sinister past.
They raised the alarm when they realised he and his family had been staying at a camping site an hour from Praia da Luz when Madeleine vanished. Leicestershire Police, the McCanns home force, said yesterday: “The disappearance of Madeleine McCann remains a Portuguese investigation.”