INVESTIGATOR has told cops
was taken to the US - and he has named two key suspects.
36, said she had been snatched by an Algarve-based paedophile ring. The
amateur sleuth added: "They can get away with anything."
Maddie vanished in Portugal in May 2007.
Angolan-born Italiano said the gang of influential and dangerous
perverts had hunted children in the Algarve before smuggling them out of
And he told how he had to flee for his life when his investigations
threatened to unmask them.
The 6ft 4in
nightclub bouncer said: "I know these people were involved and I have
been told that Madeleine may now be in America.
can't say how, but I have known these people and believe they can get
away with anything.
think there have been over a dozen children kidnapped. They prey on the
weak and vulnerable."
Italiano, 36, said the ring was based in Faro and Albufeira, but had
high-level contacts in Portugal's judiciary and links to a legal
practice in London.
added: "They are ruthless. I have been attacked twice for trying to
investigate it and even lost my front tooth in one attack.
am prepared to go to any length to reveal the truth about these sick
people - they need to be exposed."
Italiano has handed a dossier of information he uncovered to police in
Huelva, south west Spain.
says it includes the names of two prominent Portuguese businessmen and
provided photographs of them at a birthday party in the Algarve.
Officers have passed the information to Portuguese cops while private
investigators hired by the Find Madeleine Fund - set up by her parents
Kate and Gerry - are also looking into the dramatic claims.
echo the case of the
Casa Pia paedophile ring, which
involved the abduction of youngsters from state-run orphanages.
September six men including a solicitor, a former ambassador and a TV
presenter were jailed for sexually abusing 32 children living at Casa
Pia homes across Portugal.
One of the chief witnesses, former resident Paulo Namora, told the trial
that many of the group's wealthy members were based in the Algarve.
Last night a lawyer acting on behalf of Italiano told The Sun her client
had a "credible and believable story".
She added: "He told the police he believed Maddie was taken by the gang
and he believes she may now be in the US."
spokesman for Kate and Gerry, of Rothley, Leics, said: "We are grateful
for the information.
"As with any
information of this nature the man concerned has done the right thing by
informing the Spanish authorities.
"Clearly it will be a matter for them and the private investigators
currently searching for Madeleine to investigate further."
Maddie was about to turn four when she disappeared from her family's
Praia da Luz
on May 3, 2007.
Bungling Portuguese police named her parents as suspects before clearing
2008 detectives looked into suggestions that Maddie may have been taken
"to order" by a child smuggling ring based in Belgium.
Scotland Yard intelligence officer John Shord sent Leicestershire police
an email reporting: "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."
Some of the information, which came from an anonymous source, was
dismissed as not credible.
And both Portuguese police and Interpol were unable to unearth further
details. Meanwhile the McCanns' team of investigators have interviewed
hundreds of witnesses, received more than 1,000 phone calls and dealt
with more than 15,000 emails from people from across the globe.
Sightings have been reported across Europe and North Africa and as far
away as Canada, Tasmania and Dubai