The searches will be accompanied by German and English authorities and are expected to last between two and three days.

The operation stems from a European Investigation Decision addressed by the German authorities to Portugal and is centred on the Arade dam, located about 50 kilometres from Praia da Luz, where the child disappeared in May 2007 when she was on holiday with her parents.

The location used to be frequented by Christian Brueckner, who is a suspect in the case and who is currently serving time in Kiel (Germany) for another crime.