Madeleine McCann who went missing in 2007 (PA)
A massive police operation, including officers from Interpol, is underway after it was claimed that missing British youngster Madeleine McCann has been ‘spotted’ in Paraguay.
The hunt for Madeleine, who disappeared in Portugal in 2007 while on holiday with her family and who would now be 12-years-old, is centered on the city of Aregua.
Police from four separate stations, intelligence officers and an anti-kidnapping division as well as Interpol are on the case.
They were alerted to Paraguay by Miraz Ullah Ali, a researcher, who claims he spotted Maddie in the South American country, according to local news.
‘My team and I received the information that Madeleine arrived in Paraguay a month or two ago and is living in Areguá in the custody of a woman,’ Ali told Color ABC.
A local senior police officer confirmed that a search was taking place for the youngster.
‘We are investigating neighbourhoods where there are foreign citizens, villas, condos, to see if there is someone with a similar description that corresponds to the newspaper clipping,’ said Commissioner Sanny Amarilla, according to The Sun.
“This news stretches across the globe, it is very important. So if they are in the area we need to find this girl and return her to her family.”
Photo-fit of how Madeleine may have looked aged nine (Teri Blythe)
Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann have been made aware of the latest ‘sighting’, said a family spokesman.
‘They would encourage anyone who has any information about Madeleine to get in contact with officers from Operation Grange,’ added the spokesman.
Madeleine’s mystifying disappearance nine years ago from a holiday apartment in Praia de Luz, Algarve, Portugal, sparking international headlines and speculation over her fate.
Since her disappearance, Maddie has been spotted in several countries including Sweden and Morocco.