Thomas Cook has moved more than 100 Irish and British holidaymakers from a Cyprus hotel after families were targeted by a gang of child-snatchers.
Families spoke of their terror after three youngsters were almost abducted at the Anastasia Beach Complex on Tuesday night.
The children, who are believed to be under 10, were led to a car by a man and woman when an eagle-eyed holidaymaker rushed to confront the couple.
The alleged child-snatchers, who are believed to be Romanian, were quickly apprehended and handed over to local police.
Speaking to the Mirror, father-of-two Greg Letchford said: ‘This Romanian couple were leading the two young children towards a waiting car, another person had a third child up against a wall ready to go too. Someone saw what they were up to and stopped them.
‘If he hadn’t been there those kids would have gone.
‘One of the men got away and we heard the getaway car crashed a short distance away too.
‘When police turned up they took the man and woman into an office in the hotel and a crowd built up in the foyer – there must have been about 60 or 70 really angry people. It was chaos. The police got them into a van through a window for their protection’.
In a statement, a spokeswoman for Thomas Cook confirmed that they were investigating the incident, and holidaymakers were offered a new hotel by the firm.
‘Thomas Cook has requested an increased and immediate security presence at the hotel’, she said. ‘The safety and welfare of our customers is always our priority and upon hearing about the incident we immediately deployed our experienced resort team to provide customer support.
‘While incidents of this nature are extremely rare, we’d like to reassure all customers this is being taken incredibly seriously and we are continuing to work closely with the local authorities.'