Thomas Cook moves customers after child-snatching scare at Cyprus hotel

Thomas Cook moves customers after child-snatching scare at Cyprus hotel

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Holidaymakers have been moved out of a hotel in Cyprus after reports that a gang dressed as waiters tried to snatch children.

The alleged child-snatchers were reportedly seen trying to lure three children, all under 10, into cars – prompting Thomas Cook to relocate 49 customers to other hotels or to fly them home.

The incident happened at Anastasia Beach Complex, near Protaras on the island’s east coast, the Daily Record reported.

Greg Letford, 28, who was staying at the hotel with his children, told the newspaper that the snatchers, who staff claimed were Romanian, targeted the children on Tuesday evening.

“This Romanian couple were leading the two young children towards a waiting car, another person had a third child up against a wall ready to go, too.

“Someone spotted what they were up to and stopped them. If he hadn’t been there those kids would have gone.”

A man and a woman were accosted by hotel staff and handed over to police, while another man is reported to have escaped.

A group of up to 10 people was seen by holidaymakers scoping out the hotel, filming and taking photos in the week leading up to the arrests.

Some were said to be dressed as waiters in an apparent attempt to blend in.

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 spokesman for Cypriot Police told the Record that a 19-year-old man had been “attacked” by 50 or 60 holidaymakers – after he was seen filming a show at the hotel – and officers had to remove him for his own safety following the “misunderstanding”.


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