‘Romanian’ child-snatchers are caught trying to kidnap British children at Cyprus hotel by luring them into cars while disguised as waiters
- Gang ‘filmed children and swam with them in pool’ while dressed as staff
- Suspects ‘lured two children to getaway car and had another against wall’
- They were intercepted and frogmarched to police as angry crowd gathered
- Thomas Cook has moved 60 families to another hotel after panic spread
- Holidaymaker: ‘Thinking of what might have happened to those children makes your stomach flip’
A gang of traffickers have been caught trying to abduct British children at a hotel in Cyprus while disguised as waiters, it was reported today.
The suspects – believed to be Romanian – were intercepted as they allegedly attempted to lure three children, all under the age of ten, into getaway cars.
Tour operator Thomas Cook has since moved around 60 families from the Anastasia Beach Complex, near Protaras, to another hotel after panic spread through the resort.
British holidaymaker Greg Letford, 28, claimed the gang had been filming the children and swimming with them in the pool for about a week while pretending to be hotel employees.
Panic: A gang disguised as waiters have been caught trying to abduct British children at the Anastasia Beach Complex in Cyprus (above). They were intercepted as they lured the youngsters in awaiting cars
The father-of-two, who was part of a wedding party from Dundee, said: ‘Some of them were wearing staff outfits so they could blend in more easily. It was really scary.’
He said the alleged traffickers targeted the victims on Tuesday night.
‘Someone spotted what they were up to and stopped them.
‘One of the men got away and we heard the getaway car crashed a short distance away too.’
Another holidaymaker, who wasn’t named, said: ‘Just thinking of what might have happened to those children makes your stomach flip.’
The alleged abductors were frogmarched to the hotel office and handed over to police as a crowd of around 70 angry parents gathered in the foyer.
Police maintained a high presence at the hotel yesterday as they investigated the allegations.
It is not clear if the suspects have been arrested.
Thomas Cook, which runs the hotel, said it was ‘working closely’ with local authorities over the alleged incident.
‘Makes your stomach flip’: British holidaymakers claimed the gang had been filming the children and swimming with them in the pool for about a week while pretending to be hotel employees
A spokeswoman told MailOnline: ‘The safety and welfare of our customers is always our first priority and upon hearing about the incident, we immediately deployed our experienced resort team to the property to provide those customers in residence with individual support.
‘Customers who did not wish to stay at the property were immediately moved to alternative hotels of a similar or higher standard.
‘While incidents of this nature are extremely rare, we would like to reassure all customers that this is being taken incredibly seriously and we are continuing to work closely with the local authorities and the hotel as the investigation continues.
‘Any customers with concerns about future holidays at this hotel are asked to contact us directly so that we can deal with them personally and directly.’
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