14/08/2014 12:55 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Madeleine McCann: Portuguese Police Hunt Gang Of Five Paedophiles

Police in Portugal are hunting a gang of five paedophiles they believe may have snatched Madeleine McCann.

This week, officers finally reopened their inquiries into her disappearance and identified 'essential witnesses' not quizzed in the first investigation which closed in 2008.

The new suspects were spotted near the Praia da Luz apartment from where Madeleine was snatched.

Officers from Porto's Policia Judiciaria believe foreign perverts kidnapped the three-year-old in May 2007.

They are now at the Algarve resort and will work with Scotland Yard to find Madeleine.

The Portuguese Attorney General gave the go-ahead for the fresh probe after compelling new evidence was uncovered.

A number of convicted British paedophiles in Portugal at the time are believed to feature on a new list of 41 potential suspects drawn up by the Met.

Networks with UK connections have been operating in Portugal for years because of lax sex offence laws. It is one of only two countries in Europe without a sex offenders' register.

The new Portuguese police investigation will run alongside Scotland Yard's own hunt.