Dutchman arrested for McCann extortion
A 39-year-old unemployed man has been arrested in Eindhoven charged with attempting to extort money from the parents of missing British toddler Madeleine McCann, the public prosecution service said on Friday.
The man is accused of sending six emails to the girl’s parents since June 14 implying he knew where Madeleine was and asking for €2m in payment.
After his arrest, the man told police he had invented everything and had acted out of boredom. The emails had been sent from an internet café and a jobs centre in the city.
A request to hold the man – whose identity has not been released – in custody is expected later this afternoon in Rotterdam.
Four-year-old Madeleine disappeared during a family holiday in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz at the beginning of May.
The public prosecution department said the his actions had caused unnecessary suffering to the McCanns ‘That people get greedy under these circumstances and think they can cash in on the disappearance is totally unacceptable. The investigation was given the highest priority in the Netherlands,’ the department said in a statement this afternoon.
It added that there are no indications that the man was involved in the disappearance of Madeleine or that he is actually aware of her whereabouts.
In June, the Telegraaf newspaper published details of an anonymous letter and map claiming to show the place were Madeleine was buried. The claim, which generated worldwide publicity, proved to be bogus.
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