British children targeted by kidnappers posing as staff at Cyprus hotel

Thomas Cook has 'increased security' at hotel and moved families

British children targeted by kidnappers posing as staff at Cyprus hotel

British tourists have been moved from a Cyprus hotel after a gang posing as waiters tried to kidnap three children.

Around 120 British and Irish holidaymakers have been moved to other Thomas Cook hotels following the incident.

Holidaymakers have told how one Irishman foiled the plot after spotting a Romanian couple leading two children away towards a pickup truck outside the Anastasia Beach Complex, near Protaras, in Cyprus.

Another child was reportedly being held against a wall ready to be taken.

Tourists grouped together to stop the attempted abduction and handed the couple over to police. Other members of the group reportedly got away.

A Dundee father-of-two who was on holiday at the hotel at the time told the Courier: "It was terrifying. "One guy was walking towards a pick-up truck on the main road with two of the children where a woman was waiting, while another guy had hold of a third child.

"Had an Irish man not spotted what was happening and intervened, then the children would have been taken."

He added: "Where yesterday there were children in the pool and in play areas, the resort today is almost deserted – there's not a single unaccompanied child anywhere."

He also praised Thomas Cook for providing alternative hotel accommodation so quickly.

A Thomas Cook spokesman told the Mirror: "The safety and welfare of our customers is always our first priority and we immediately deployed our experienced resort team to the property to provide them with individual support.

"Customers who did not wish to stay were immediately moved to alternative hotels.

"While incidents of this nature are extremely rare, we would like to reassure all customers that this is being taken incredibly seriously."

The firm said it had "requested an increased and immediate security presence at the hotel".

Best places for a family holiday in Europe (Lonely Planet)

Best places for a family holiday in Europe (Lonely Planet)

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