Revealed: German Maddie McCann suspect Christian Brueckner sold his VW campervan in 2015 to a car scrap yard on the Algarve for £5,000
- Christian Breuckner, 43, sold Volkswagen T3 Westfalia van for £5,000 in 2015
- His German compatriot ran an unofficial yard in the Silves area of the Algarve
- Breuckner was reported to have been living in Silves when he disposed of van
- It is the first time Breuckner has been linked with a town other than Praia da Luz
A campervan used by the new prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann case was seized from a scrapyard run by another German, it was revealed today.
Christian Breuckner sold the Volkswagen van for £5,000 in 2015 to a German compatriot who ran an unofficial yard in the Silves area of the Algarve.
The 43-year-old German paedophile was also reported to have been living in Silves when he disposed of the T3 Westfalia campervan.
Christian Breuckner sold the Volkswagen van for £5,000 in 2015 to a German compatriot who ran an unofficial scrapyard in the Silves area of the Algarve, which is pictured today
The campervan used by Breuckner was seized from the scrapyard run by another German
It is the first time Breuckner has been linked with another town other than Praia da Luz where Madeleine disappeared from 13 years ago on May 3, 2007.
The van is being kept in a secret location and the name of the German has not been released. It is also not known how police discovered the location of the vehicle.
Despite the discovery of the van, a forensic examination is not thought to have produced any link to Madeleine’s disappearance.
It is not yet known how the van got from the scrapyard and into the possession of the police.
Christian Brueckner (left), 43, is now the prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann (right), who vanished from her family’s holiday apartment in Portugal on May 3, 2007
The yard is pictured today as the investigation continues into Madeleine’s disappearance
The discovery in Silves was reported by Portuguese TV station SIC. The Silves area is around an hour from Praia da Luz inland from the popular tourist resort of Albufeira.
There is no suggestion the German who bought Breuckner’s camper van is in any way involved in disapperance of Madeleine.
The van, with a white upper body and a yellow skirting and a Portuguese registration plate, is one of two vehicles police have flagged up in an appeal this week.
The other is a Jaguar model XJR 6, with a German number plate and registered in Germany.
It is not yet known how police discovered the location of the vehicle at the yard in Silves
The scrapyard in Silves is pictured today following the revelation over the campervan
Detectives say it is significant that the day after Madeleine’s disappearance, Breuckner re-registered the car in someone else’s name back in Augsburg, Germany, even though the vehicle had never left Portugal.
Former neighbours of Breuckner said he often slept in the van rather than return to one of two rented properties.
German prosecutors believe Madeleine is dead after she vanished from a resort while on holiday with her family, and are investigating Brueckner for her murder.
Scotland Yard’s Operation Grange still considers the case a missing person inquiry because there is no ‘definitive evidence whether Madeleine is alive or dead’.
The Volkswagen T3 Westfalia campervan is pictured after it was seized by police in Portugal
This photograph was released by police following their investigation into the campervan
Breuckner allegedly confessed to his part in Madeleine’s disappearance to a friend as they watched a TV news report on the 10th anniversary of her disappearance.
The suspect is reportedly serving a seven-year prison sentence in the German port city of Kiel for the rape of a 72-year-old American woman in Portugal in 2005 after he was convicted of rape at Braunschweig District Court in December last year.
Der Spiegel reported his criminal record contains a total of 17 entries, including a conviction for the sexual abuse of a child in 1994 when he was aged 17, and a 2016 conviction for abusing another child and possession of child pornography.
The details emerged after authorities revealed a new suspect had been identified in Madeleine’s disappearance as a fresh appeal was launched on Wednesday night.
Brueckner had lived in this remote property overlooking Praia da Luz from 1999 to 2006
Madeleine’s doctor parents Kate and Gerry McCann welcomed the latest appeal in a statement saying: ‘We will never give up hope of finding Madeleine alive.’
Breuckner lived in the Algarve between 1995 and 2007, where he funded his lifestyle by committing crimes, including breaking into hotel complexes and holiday flats.
His Portuguese mobile phone was in Praia da Luz when it received a half-hour phone call around an hour before Madeleine was last seen.
Christian Hoppe, from Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office, has said German police have not ruled out a sexual motive for the alleged crime against Madeleine.
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