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Original Source: EXPRESS: SUNDAY 18 DECEMBER 2011

The Spanish private detective agency’s secret files are key “sightings” of Madeleine in Morocco

SCOTLAND YARD detectives have been given a vast dossier of unpublished details about possible sightings of Madeleine McCann that might provide a breakthrough in the four-year hunt. 


Today the Sunday Express can reveal that among the Spanish private detective agency’s secret files are key “sightings” of Madeleine in Morocco.



 Metodo 3 director general Francisco Marco Fernandez last week gave 30 boxes of documents to four Yard detectives at his office in Barcelona.



 Speaking exclusively to the Sunday Express, the private eye said: “I think this could be a significant moment in the effort to discoverwhat happened to the child. I am very glad all our leads will now be looked at by the Yard because they are important.




“There were about eight interesting leads which they will examine but I cannot say any more because I have agreed total secrecy with Scotland Yard.”


He reluctantly spoke of four “interesting” sightings in Morocco after Madeleine, then aged four, disappeared from her ­holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, ­Portugal, on May 3, 2007.


It is known there were two possible sightings in Marrakech: one was at a petrol ­station when a child strongly resembling her was seen going into a shop three months after she was snatched.



A witness told Metodo 3 she had the same unusual eye ­feature as Madeleine.


There was another sighting of a child resembling Madeleine at an ­adjacent hotel on the same day at around the same time.


In a third sighting, a Moroccan-looking woman was seen carrying a blonde-haired, white-skinned girl.  

The child was eventually identified as the five-year-old daughter of an olive farmer.


Mr Fernandez would not say if any of the four sightings in the secret dossier were already known but said: “It is very intriguing information.



"There were about eight interesting leads which they will examine but I cannot say any more because I have agreed total secrecy with Scotland Yard" 

Metodo 3 director general Francisco Marco Fernandez

We took inquiries as far as we could and then handed it over to the Portuguese police. We did it all in the proper way, wrote a report then gave it to Spanish police and they would pass it on to the Portuguese police for us.


“We never really heard back from the Portuguese so I can’t say what they did.”


Asked if he ever spoke to the former Portuguese detective in charge of the hunt, Goncalo Amaral, he frowned and shook his head. “Don’t talk to me about that man,” he said. “I can’t believe the things he said in his book. He got it so wrong.”


However, Mr Amaral told the Sunday Express that Metodo 3 never provided a strong lead. “They gave information about sightings but it was not enough and you could not prove it was Madeleine,” he said.


A source close to Metodo 3 said: “Officially or unofficially Metodo 3 have never stopped looking for Madeleine. It was the biggest job they were ever given. People literally went all over the world and it has become very personal for many of them.”


When Mr Fernandez was asked if Madeleine’s parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, had requested him to hand over his files to the Yard, said: “Of course, I would need their permission but I am not going to say any more. All our ­dealings with the McCanns are confidential and private.”


In November the Scotland Yard detectives hunting for Madeleine spent two days talking to high-ranking Spanish detectives with expertise in organised crime syndicates in Spain and Portugal. Among theories being examined was that she was smuggled out of Portugal on a yacht which sailed to ­Barcelona.


At the city’s marina on May 7, 2007, a British holidaymaker told private investigators about a bizarre encounter.



In the early hours a woman asked him if he was about to deliver her “new” daughter.  


That woman has never been traced.


The Yard’s activities have given new hope to doctors Kate and Gerry McCann, both 43, of Rothley, Leicestershire. Yesterday their spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “They are very pleased that police are continuing to work and review the case and that progress is being made.


“They welcome this and hope the team will bring a new ­perspective to the case. For operational reasons we cannot comment on details of the review but it is a step in the right direction.”


Kate has criticised officers in the botched Portuguese investigation for not bothering to ­follow up leads in North Africa, particularly the sighting in Marrakesh.


In her book, Madeleine, she tells of her anger that little was done about the sighting at a petrol station near Marrakesh.



A month later police were told the witness had still not been interviewed.


She writes: “It was intolerable. This was our daughter’s life they were dealing with, not a stolen car radio.”


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