A senior policeman investigating the disappearance of Ben Needham on a Greek island has been summoned back to the UK amid reports members of his team went on an eight-hour drinking session.
Police are investigating a report in The Sun that officers spent an evening drinking wine and beer after launching a new appeal for information.
Ben, from Sheffield, was 21 months old when he disappeared on 24 July 1991.
South Yorkshire Police said “an internal investigation” would be held.
Officers are on the island for two weeks to re-appeal to local people and follow up lines of inquiry.
At a news conference on Tuesday, they offered a reward of 12,500 euros (£9,800) to anyone who provides information which leads to the discovery of Ben.
His mother Kerry has always maintained her son, who would now be 26, is alive and was probably abducted.
According to the newspaper, after the news conference at about 17:00 local time, the officers gathered for drinks at their hotel before heading to a pizzeria and bars.
The last members of the team finished the session shortly before 01:30, it said.
Earlier this year, the force secured £450,000 from the Home Office to help in the search.
‘Working really hard’
Ben vanished after travelling to the island with his mother and grandparents who were renovating a run-down farmhouse building in the village of Iraklis.
Det Sup Matt Fenwick, currently in Kos, told the paper the team was “desperately” trying to find the youngster and that officers were “working really hard”.
He said: “We were up at seven this morning and we’ve got officers still out now (at 20:30) interviewing people.
“What I can say is that no public money was spent on alcohol.”
A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “We’re absolutely committed to this investigation and require the highest possible standards from all of those involved. …read more
Source:: BBC world news feed