According to former political campaigner Ken Ralphs, cops were informed about Christian Brueckner – the German suspected of abducting Madeleine, also known as Maddie, back in 2007 – a week before her disappearance.
Mr Ralphs claimed Brueckner attempted to recruit a mutual friend to find a youngster to sell to a childless couple.
He also alleged that after hearing about Maddie’s disappearance from her family’s holiday home in Portugal, he traveled to Workington police station to report what he was aware of.
He said the journey took him three hours from his father’s home in the UK, and he went on to also claim that he made cops aware of a “secret” map that led to the location of where Mr Ralphs’ mutual friend was living.
The friend, according to Mr Ralphs, was living in remote woodlands in southwestern Portugal.
This information was sent on to cops in Portugal, the ex-advisor claimed.
However, cops in Cumbria poured cold water on these allegations.
According to Cumbria Crack, a spokesman for Cumbria Constabulary said: “There is no record on any of the Constabulary systems relating to information relating to this case being provided to police in Workington.”
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Ralphs said: “I said you can’t get involved in kidnapping a person for ransom, that’s ridiculous, then he explained, no, it’s not like that.
“Christian had a customer, a buyer lined up, a German couple who couldn’t have children.”
He added: “The GNR [local police] asked me, ‘have you made your statement to the British police’? I said, ‘yeah’ and they said, ‘well, don’t worry, go home. If they need to contact you, they will’. And of course, over the years nobody contacted me.”
Brueckner was identified as the main suspect in the case back in 2022. He has not been arrested or charged in connected with missing Maddie.
He is set to stand trial next month, facing five more alleged sex crimes unconnected to the McCann case.
Currently, he is serving a prison sentence in Germany following a conviction for raping a 72-year-old woman.
Court documents say that he also allegedly abducted another child just days before Maddie was taken.