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Society

Cyprus Child Snatching Fears Disputed

Reports that an alleged gang of abductors tried to kidnap three British children on holiday with their families have been disputed by Cypriot police.

Despite the assertions, a number of guests moved out of a Cyprus hotel, the Daily Record reported, after it was said that a “gang dressed as waiters tried to snatch children,” before being stopped by bystanders.

The newspaper said that that three adults were caught trying to abduct three British children at the Anastasia Beach Hotel in Protaras on June 17 but police police said they found no evidence of attempted abductions, the BBC said.

Holiday operator Thomas Cook said some guests chose to switch hotels after the incident, and the Foreign Office said it was supporting the family involved.

The newspaper quoted a witness who saids a couple were leading two children towards a car, while another person had a third child “up against a wall ready to go too” before a bystander stepped in.

Another guest told STV one parent saw children being “led away” towards a pick-up truck with its doors open.

Cyprus Police said they had found nothing to confirm guests’ suspicions of a kidnap plot. They said officers spoke to a 19-year-old man who was allegedly filming children on his phone, but after examining the device they found no such images.

In a statement, Thomas Cook said: “Although there are conflicting reports as to what exactly occurred at the property, we would like to reassure all customers that we take all allegations incredibly seriously and we are continuing to work closely with our customers in resort and the local authorities.”

About half of the hotel’s guests are believed to be Thomas Cook customers. The company said those who wanted to leave after the incident were “immediately moved to alternative hotels”.

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