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    Post  Sykes on Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:49 pm

    Ben Needham: British cops quiz gypsy family 24 years after toddler's disappearance

    22:00, 23 JULY 2015


    His mum Kerry said she was 'relieved they have finally been challenged' after he vanished from Greek island of Kos aged 21 months.

    British police have questioned a gypsy family in Greece about the disappearance of Ben Needham.

    His mum Kerry said she was “relieved they have finally been challenged”.

    Police have also interviewed a long-serving prisoner who is one of the people to have claimed the notorious Roma gypsy family were involved in the possible abduction of British lad Ben.

    He vanished from the Greek island of Kos 24 years ago tomorrow aged 21 months.

    Ben’s relatives think he was stolen. He vanished in 1991 while outside a farmhouse the family had been helping to renovate.

    Kerry, 43, from Sheffield, had begged police to visit the “strange little town” where the accused gypsies live.

    She said: “This family have haunted me for two decades. I am convinced they know something about Ben’s disappearance.

    “My parents decided to visit this gypsy family and question them regarding their involvement with Ben.

    “But on reaching the property the gypsy man was screaming and shouting and threatened to take his gun and shoot them if they didn’t leave.

    “Over the past 20 years we have received lots of information about this family from ordinary people living in the same area.

    They claim to have seen Ben in the company of the gypsies but were too afraid to contact the Greek police as the family are extremely dangerous.

    “I am proud of South Yorkshire police for their determination.

    “They are not willing let things be covered up any more”. She had given police a dossier that listed names of eight people who claim they saw a little boy like Ben living with gypsies in the 1990s.

    Det Insp Cousins said his Operation Ben team are more advanced in their probe than they had expected. He added: “We’ve had a number of trips to mainland Greece and Kos to see people I think are significant to the inquiry.”

    The officer said one of those quizzed was Antonis Betzios, a Greek prisoner who phoned a TV show in 1996 naming the gypsy family as being involved with Ben’s disappearance. Det Insp Cousins said his team spent four hours with Betzios last month in Larissa prison in northern Greece.

    He added: “We put to him the account he has given all this time and it has changed quite significantly.”

    Police would not confirm how his story had altered but the Mirror understands he told them he made it all up because he had a vendetta against the family who had taken his son in while he was behind bars.

    DI Cousins said: “We need to determine which account we believe.” Kerry, who has met Betzios several times, said: “He was due for release when he was interviewed so I’m not surprised he’d change his story. He’s terrified of this family.”

    in 2012 British police dug up a mound of earth near where Ben was last seen alive.

    But he said there are still other “interesting” lines of inquiry in Greece which they have yet to get to.

    Truth is the Daughter of Time

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