Former detective says claims Madeleine McCann was ‘taken by paedophile who knew family’ were not followed up

Former detective Goncalo Amaral was sacked for his handling of the Madeleine McCann case (Picture: PA)

The disgraced former detective who was removed from the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has claimed she may have been taken by a paedophile who knew the family.

Ex-police officer Goncalo Amaral led the investigation in 2007 but was later removed from the case.

He made Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, official suspects in their daughter's disappearance before being sacked for constant public verbal attacks on British police.

Mr Amaral later published a book falsely claiming the McCanns killed Madeleine accidentally then covered it up.

He has now told an Australian news podcast that one line of inquiry was the involvement of a paedophile ring with links to people close to the McCann family, but without the McCanns' knowledge.

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Kate and Gerry McCann attend a service to mark the 11th anniversary of the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine from a holiday flat in Portugal, near her home in Rothley, Britain May 3, 2018. REUTERS/Darren Staples
Kate and Gerry McCann, whose daughter Madeleine disappeared from a holiday flat in Portugal ten years ago, speak during an interview with the BBC's Fiona Bruce at Prestwold Hall in Loughborough, Britain April 28, 2017. Photograph taken April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Joe Giddens/Pool
Gerry and Kate McCann speak with journalists at the court in Lisbon June 16, 2014. Gerry and Kate McCann, the parents of missing British girl Madeleine McCann, appeared at a Lisbon court after they launched libel action against a Portuguese former police chief, who said in a book that Madeleine's parents covered up the death of their daughter. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante (PORTUGAL - Tags: SOCIETY CRIME LAW)
A Portuguese police officer rolls up police tape during the search for missing British girl Madeleine McCann in Praia da Luz, near Lagos, June 11, 2014. McCann was three when she disappeared from her room at the Praia da Luz holiday resort in the Algarve in May 2007 while her parents were dining with friends at a nearby restaurant, prompting a global hunt and worldwide headlines. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante (PORTUGAL - Tags: SOCIETY CRIME LAW)
Members of Scotland Yard work at an area during the search for missing British girl Madeleine McCann in Praia da Luz, near Lagos, June 8, 2014. McCann was three when she disappeared from her room at the Praia da Luz holiday resort in the Algarve in May 2007 while her parents were dining with friends at a nearby restaurant, prompting a global hunt and worldwide headlines. REUTERS/Carlos Vidigal (PORTUGAL - Tags: SOCIETY CRIME LAW)
Kate and Gerry McCann pose with a computer generated image of how their missing daughter Madeleine might look now, during a news conference in London May 2, 2012. Madeleine McCann went missing from a holiday villa in southern Portugal five years ago as her parents dined with friends. REUTERS/Andrew Winning (BRITAIN - Tags: CRIME LAW SOCIETY)
Kate McCann (L), whose daughter Madeleine went missing during a family holiday to Portugal in 2007, attends a news conference with her husband Gerry at the launch of her book in London May 12, 2011. REUTERS/Chris Helgren (BRITAIN - Tags: CRIME LAW SOCIETY)
Kate McCann (L), whose daughter Madeleine went missing during a family holiday to Portugal in 2007, poses during a news conference with her husband Gerry at the launch of her book in London May 12, 2011. REUTERS/Chris Helgren (BRITAIN - Tags: CRIME LAW IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Kate and Gerry McCann speak about the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine, at a news conference in London February 19, 2010. A Portuguese court upheld a ban on a book about the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann written by former detective Goncalo Amaral who led the initial investigation. To match Reuters Life! BOOKS-MCCANN/ REUTERS/Jas Lehal (BRITAIN - Tags: SOCIETY CRIME LAW)
A likeness of missing British girl Madeleine McCann is seen in age progressed computer generated handout images received from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) in London on November 3, 2009. The images show what she might look like now, with a fair skin tone (L) and what she might look like if she were living in a hotter climate. Police released video and images of how Madeleine McCann might look now, in a bid to prick the conscience of anyone who knows what became of the missing girl. Madeleine, from Leicestershire, vanished from her room at the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007, just days before her fourth birthday. REUTERS/CEOP/Handout (BRITAIN CRIME LAW) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. QUALITY FROM SOURCE
Football - Sunderland v Everton - Barclays Premier League - Stadium of Light - 08/09 - 3/5/09 Phil Neville - Everton with matchday mascot wearing a 'Madeleine McCann' tee shirt before the game Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Lee Smith NO ONLINE/INTERNET USE WITHOUT A LICENCE FROM THE FOOTBALL DATA CO LTD. FOR LICENCE ENQUIRIES PLEASE TELEPHONE +44 (0) 207 864 9000.
A billboard of Madeleine McCann is see at Praia da Luz tourist resort April 5, 2009, where Madeleine went missing. Gerry McCann,father of Madeleine, is at the resort to film a documentary re-enacting the May 3, 2007 disappearance of his daughter Madeleine, according to the family's press officer Clarence Mitchell.REUTERS/Hugo Correia (PORTUGAL CONFLICT SOCIETY)
A woman looks at posters offering rewards for finding missing British girl Madeleine McCann, in Praia da Luz, southern Portugal May 3, 2008. Madeleine McCann vanished from the family holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3, 2007. Her family and friends are marking the one year anniversary with church services in Praia da Luz and Rothley which will be dedicated to all missing children, including Madeleine. REUTERS/Hugo Correia (PORTUGAL)
A photo of Madeleine McCann surrounded by messages saying "pray for me" is seen inside the Praia da Luz church in Southern Portugal May 2, 2008. Madeleine McCann's parents said on Thursday they believe their daughter is still alive, a year after she disappeared while on holiday at Praia da Luz in Southern Portugal. REUTERS/Hugo Correia (PORTUGAL)
A man looks at posters offering rewards for finding missing British girl Madeleine McCann, in Praia da Luz, southern Portugal, May 2, 2008. McCann's parents said on Thursday they believe their daughter is still alive, a year after she disappeared while on holiday in Portugal. REUTERS/Hugo Correia (PORTUGAL)
TV broadcasting vans are seen parked outside the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz, southern Portugal, May 2, 2008. The parents of missing British girl Madeleine McCann said on Thursday they believe their daughter is still alive, a year after she disappeared while on holiday at Praia da Luz in Southern Portugal. REUTERS/Hugo Correia (PORTUGAL)
Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann, the parents of missing British girl Madeleine McCann, shows the sketch of a man during a news conference in London January 20, 2008, who is believed to have abducted Madeleine from the family's apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico (BRITAIN)
Parents of missing child Madeleine McCann, Kate (R) and Gerry McCann (2nd R), walk by a billboard of their daughter on the beach near the Portuguese resort of Lagos May 28, 2007. REUTERS/Hugo Correia (PORTUGAL) BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE
Kate and Gerry McCann (R), the parents of missing British girl Madeleine McCann, are driven from his home in Rothley, central England September 14, 2007. REUTERS/Darren Staples (BRITAIN)
A women looks at a poster with a reward for finding British girl Madeleine McCann in Praia da Luz Southern Portugal September 8, 2007. Portuguese police named the parents of missing British four-year-old Madeleine McCann as suspects in their investigation on Friday, their lawyer said after they were questioned for hours by police. REUTERS/Carlos Brito - F32 (PORTUGAL)
Gerry McCann (L), father of British missing girl Madeleine, accompanied by his spokesman David Hughes (C) and his lawyer Carlos Pinto de Abreu leaves the criminal police headquarters in Portimao in Southern Portugal September 7, 2007. Portuguese police announced on Friday they had identified a new suspect in their investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann and friends said it was the 4-year-old's mother, Kate McCann. McCann was questioned by police for more than 15 hours on Thursday and Friday and left the police station on Friday as her husband, Gerry, entered to be interviewed separately. REUTERS/Hugo Correia (PORTUGAL)
Football - Derby County v Portsmouth - FA Barclays Premier League - Pride Park - 07/08 , 11/8/07 Portsmouth players wear t-shirts for Madeleine McCann , Sean Davis Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Andrew Couldridge
Kate and Gerry McCann, parents of missing British girl Madeleine McCann, release air balloons in memory of their daughter kidnapped 50th days on the beach resort of Lagos on southern Portugal June 22, 2007. REUTERS/Vasco Celio (PORTUGAL)
A computer grab from the virtual reality Second Life shows an avatar standing near a digital poster of missing Madeleine 'Maddy' McCann, Paris, June 12, 2007. Police investigating the disappearance of the four-year-old child in Portugal six weeks ago are planning to post pictures of the missing child throughout the virtual world. REUTERS/Stringer (FRANCE)
A picture of missing British girl Madeleine McCann (bottom, L) is displayed next to pictures of other missing children outside the British Embassy in Buenos Aires June 11, 2007. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci (ARGENTINA)
Kate and Gerry McCann, parents of missing British girl Madeleine McCann, speak during a visit to Morocco's "Touche pas à mon enfant" (Don't touch my children) care organization in Rabat, June 11, 2007. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante (MOROCCO)
Kate and Gerry McCann, parents of missing British girl Madeleine McCann, attend an aid concert in a Lagos beach resort in southern Portugal June 8, 2007. REUTERS/Virgilio Rodrigues (PORTUGAL)
Kate and Gerry McCann, parents of missing British girl Madeleine McCann, hold hands before a news conference in Berlin June 6, 2007. Gerry and his wife Kate are visiting Germany to meet politicians later on Wednesday. REUTERS/Alex Grimm (GERMANY)
Kate McCann, mother of missing child Madeleine McCann, walks out from a mass at a church near the Portuguese beach resort of Lagos June 3, 2007. REUTERS/Nacho Doce (PORTUGAL)
Pope Benedict XVI greets the parents of four-year-old abducted British girl Madeleine McCann, Gerry (R) and Kate (2nd R) McCann, after his weekly general audience at the Vatican May 30, 2007. The parents of a four-year-old British girl snatched from a Portuguese holiday resort nearly a month ago met Pope Benedict on Wednesday and the Pontiff blessed a photograph of the child. The mother of Madeleine McCann appeared to be holding back tears as she held up the picture of her daughter, which the Pope touched gently and then blessed with the sign of the cross. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano (VATICAN)
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Mr Amaral told 9news podcast "Maddie" that UK police didn't follow up this line of inquiry, claiming they withheld it from their Portuguese counterparts.

He said: "The British authorities tried to conceal the statement and nothing was done about this statement.

"They were not followed up. Nobody investigated anything related to them."

He claimed British police told his team they held "absolutely nothing" of significance when asked about information on a potential person of interest.

Madeleine McCann went missing in May 2007 (Picture: PA)

"Of course, when the British police stated that they did not have any information, they already had the statements," Mr Amaral told the podcast.

"So, there is this issue with the British police concealing information that they already had.

"When the statements finally arrived, they came mixed up with other papers."

British police have declined to comment on Mr Amaral's accusations.

Madeleine vanished on May 3, 2007, from the family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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