THE Madeleine McCann suspect reportedly showed off a huge new campervan and bragged “I can transport children in this” just months before the tot vanished.
Christian B, is said to have made the sickening comment to a man who lived about 40 miles away from where the three-year-old disappeared in Praia da Luz in May, 2007.
The Mail on Sunday reports the 43-year-old convicted sex offender is claimed to have then chillingly added: “Nobody can find them, nobody can catch you.”
The man – named only as Dieter F – said he was visiting his daughter Nicole in the Portuguese village of Foral in early 2007 when the German suspect turned up in a large cream-coloured Winnebago.
Christian B then reportedly showed the man around his new van – which had Hanover licence plates.
The father told The Mail on Sunday that after a casual chat about what Christian B – who knew his daughter – was doing in Portugal he dropped his bombshell boast.
He claimed: “He told me: ‘I can transport children, kids, in this space.
“Drugs and children, you can transport them in this van, it’s a safe space in the van, nobody can find them. Nobody can catch you.’ “
The man immediately put the words down to twisted bragging but now fears the worst.
He said: “I believe he kidnapped Maddie and brought her out of Portugal in his big van.”
He hopes by speaking out now other witnesses might come forward to talk to the cops.
The claims come as it was revealed German investigators have “nothing new” on Christian B and fear their trail may be running cold.
Sources have said they hoped their publicity blitz – which saw him identified as prime suspect in the disappearance – would throw up a “golden nugget”, but that has not yet materialised.
German investigators believe letters sent from behind bars and during Christian B’s “hippy” life travelling around the Algarve and flitting between Portugal and Germany, could hold vital clues.
And a source said: “The picture emerging of Christian B is of a deeply vain and self-obsessed individual.
“Officers know he has bragged in the past about the crimes he has committed to ex-partners.
“In many cases he has also used it as a way to threaten some of them into silence.
“Detectives think Christian B had many, many lovers during his time living on the Algarve.
“He kept in touch with many of them by letter and has also continued to send love-notes while he’s been locked up.
“The police believe these letters could contain really important information that will throw up new leads for them in their investigation.”
The suspect – born in Bavaria, southern Germany – spent 12 years on the Algarve between 1995 and 2007. He then flitted between the country and Germany.