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Private detective in Madeleine McCann case arrested for fraud

by Angela Johnson. Published Wed 25 Nov 2009 11:00, last updated: 25/11/09
Madeleine McCann
Madeleine McCann

A private detective hired to find missing tot Madeleine McCann has been arrested on suspicion of fraud.

Kevin Halligen, 48, wanted in America by the FBI for allegedly conning a law firm out of £1.3 million by claiming he could help free two men jailed in war-torn Africa. He, it is alleged, instead spent the money on a mansion.

Halligen is believed to have been hiding at luxury Old Bank Hotel in Oxford for the past 6 months.

Police received a tip-off from an ex-hotel worker, and arrested Halligen yesterday morning. The suspected fraudster is currently in custody, being questioned by officers.

The Madeleine McCann fund, set up to support the search for the three-year-old who went missing from their Portugal holiday apartment in 2007.

Around £500,000 was paid to Oakley International, Halligen's firm, but the contract was terminated after six months when he failed to deliver any new leads on Madeleine's disappearance.

Private investigators allegedly hired by Halligen found it increasingly difficult to claim their fees, including a former national head of undercover operations for the British police, who says he is owed £100,000.

Halligen is reported to have promised to provide satellite photos from the night Maddie went missing, but no such evidence materialised.

A former member of hotel staff recognised Halligen's picture in a newspaper and immediately informed police.

Sue Healy, Maddy’s grandmother, from Mossley Hill, said: "As I understand, he didn’t fulfil the contract, but it was closed as Kate and Gerry weren’t happy about it."

Clarence Mitchell, spokesman for the McCann’s stated that their association with Oakley International ended 12 months ago.

Halligen is reportedly embroiled in a further two big money fraud incidents, all of which has led to the US Department of Justice issuing an indictment seeking his arrest.

A spokeswoman for Thames Valley Police said: "We have arrested a 48-year-old man on suspicion of fraud offences. He remains in custody."


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"He was arrested just because he did'nt pay the hôtel. The Mccanns did'nt sur him." Ann, France around 5 years, 8 months ago

"It's getting out of hand, isn't it, Kate McCann. Tell the truth, if only for the sake of your children. RealHumptyB on Twitter" Humpty Bumpty, London around 5 years, 8 months ago

"Susan Healy, it's time to start talking to your daughter who knows exactly what happened to Madeleine. RealHumptyB on Twitter" Humpty Bumpty, London around 5 years, 8 months ago

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