Brits moved from Cyprus hotel after child abduction claims
Police deny there was a kidnapping attempt after worried guests allegedly 'mobbed' Bulgarian man
British holidaymakers at a hotel in Cyprus have been moved out of their accommodation following claims of an attempted child abduction at the resort.
Thomas Cook said it had helped around 50 customers who asked to be move out of the Anastasia Beach complex, near Protaras, into alternative accommodation. Two other British families had also demanded early flights back home.
Worried guests allegedly "mobbed" a Bulgarian man they suspected was trying to kidnap children, says The Times.
One guest claimed a couple had been seen leading two young children towards a waiting car and another person had a third child "up against a wall ready to go too".
One parent, James Down, a 30-year-old wind turbine engineer, said he had seen a man talking to children on two separate occasions in the day and had found footage of children on his phone after apprehending him.
Down claimed he and his friends had also seen a woman who they believed was linked to the man and a "pick-up truck which had its engine running and a saloon car".
However, police denied that there was an abduction attempt. A spokesman said officers had arrested a 19-year-old Bulgarian man after holidaymakers claimed he had been filming their children and was trying to "abduct" them.
"We questioned the suspect, went through his phone and also searched his home. Nothing we found suggests that he is part of a child-abducting gang or that he was stalking children. He has since been released while police take statements from all those present at the scene," he told the Cyprus Mail.
Thomas Cook acknowledged there were "conflicting reports" as to what had happened, but said it took "all allegations incredibly seriously".
It also emerged that a two-year-old girl from Durham had disappeared for 40 minutes at the same resort last year. She was finally spotted being carried away from the hotel by a woman who claimed to have found the toddler wandering alone.
Her father, Daniel Mann, told the Daily Mirror: "There were people joining to help all the time. One or two mentioned Madeleine McCann, you can imagine how that made me feel."