Children ‘targeted at Cyprus hotel’

Published: Thursday 18th June 2015 by The News Editor

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An investigation has been launched after a British family was targeted by three people who apparently attempted to abduct children from a popular holiday resort in Cyprus.

Tour operator Thomas Cook said they were working closely with authorities after the incident on June 16 at the Anastasia beach complex in Protaras.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office described it as a “concerning incident” and confirmed they had provided assistance to a British family.

Greg Letford, 28, who was part of a wedding party from Dundee staying at the hotel, told the Daily Record newspaper a couple had led two young children towards a waiting car and another person had a “third child up against a wall ready to go, too”.

He told the newspaper: “Someone spotted what they were up to and stopped them. If he hadn’t been there, those kids would have gone.

“When the police turned up, they took the man and woman into an office in the hotel.

“The police got them into a van through a window for their protection. One of the hotel staff later told us they were Romanian and that one of them used to work at the hotel.”

It is understood some of those involved had been dressed as hotel staff.

The Daily Record reported that the children involved were under 10 years old.

A Thomas Cook spokeswoman said: “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.”

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: “Our consular officers provided advice and support to the family involved following this concerning incident. This is now a matter for the local police who are investigating.”

The Anastasia beach complex, on the eastern tip of Cyprus, is described on the Thomas Cook website as being a “perfect family choice”.

Published: Thursday 18th June 2015 by The News Editor

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