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British woman rescued from kidnap in Faro shopping centre after leaving an SOS message in a Burger King

A man has been arrested in Faro for the alleged rape and kidnapping of a British woman who escaped his clutches after leaving an SOS message in a Burger King in the Forum Algarve shopping centre.

The 35-year-old kidnapper, who has dual Portuguese and Canadian nationality was partially covered by his hoodie as he was hauled into court in Faro this afternoon to face questioning in court.

He went before the judge today 24 hours after police revealed he had been arrested on suspicion of a range of crimes including abduction, rape, kidnap and assault. The court will deliberate on whether to remand him in custody or release him on bail pending an ongoing investigation.

Earlier today it emerged that the British woman he allegedly targeted, a seasonal worker in her twenties who has not been named, raised the alarm by giving an SOS note to a fast food restaurant worker. Police sources say she scribbled the message: “Help me, I’ve been abducted” on a piece of paper after her alleged captor took her to the shopping centre.

Detectives have confirmed they found a replica gun during a search of his home, which they believe he may have used to intimidate his alleged victims.

A Brazilian woman, who says she was kept prisoner in his home and raped, has also been interviewed by police. Ahead of the kidnapper’s court appearance, a spokesman for the Policia Judiciaria said: “The PJ, through its Southern Directorate and as part of an investigation into different crimes of abduction, rape, kidnap, aggravated threats, assault and theft, has identified and arrested a 35-year-old man residing in the Algarve.”

“The arrest occurred at the same time as a house search ordered by the court in Faro which was carried out early yesterday morning (Tuesday morning),” he continued.  “Objects used in the commission of the alleged crimes were seized during the operation, including a replica 9mm caliber firearm.”

“The incidents occurred last year in the Algarve region, and the defendant already has a police and judicial record for similar violent behaviour” he added.

A separate police source also confirmed to UK press that the British woman has now left Portugal, explaining that: “We’re not talking about women being snatched off the street. The man arrested started what appeared to be a regular relationship, flirting with the women until they voluntarily agreed to go to his place and then he allegedly prevented them from leaving without his permission once they were inside.”

“The Brazilian woman has told detectives she was able to escape during a visit to the village of Boliqueime near Albufeira” the source added.