UK

Cyprus 'abduction attempt' sparks move for UK visitors

Holidaymakers on a beach Image copyright AP
Image caption Cyprus is a popular destination for British holidaymakers

Holidaymakers have been moved away from a Cyprus hotel at the centre of reports of a failed child abduction attempt.

The Daily Record reported that three adults were caught trying to abduct three British children at the Anastasia Beach Hotel in Protaras on Tuesday.

But local police said they found no evidence of attempted abductions.

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.

According to the Daily Record, a "gang dressed as waiters tried to snatch children" from the hotel.

The newspaper quotes a witness who says 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.

But in a statement, 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.

Police said they also searched his home and found nothing illegal.

'Concerning incident'

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".

"On request, we assisted 16 customer bookings who wished to move to an alternative hotel and two families who travelled back to the UK early," a spokeswoman said.

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."