THE GERMAN man suspected of murdering toddler Madeleine McCann is a convicted child sex abuser and suspected drug trafficker, foreign prosecutors have confirmed. 

In a statement released this evening, the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and Braunschweig Public Prosecutor's Office say the 43-year-old worked in the "gastronomy business" in the Algarve but also made a living by committing crime including burgling hotels and holiday flats. 

The man, who is currently unidentified, has served several jail terms for child sexual offences and police say is also believed to been involved in "trafficking narcotic drugs". 

The Metropolitan police and the BKA have issued a joint plea for information about the man's whereabouts at the time of Madeleine's disappearance from Prai de Luz in 2007. 

German police said in a statement: "The suspect lived more or less permanently in the Algarve between 1995 and 2007.

"For several years, he lived in a house between Lagos and Praia da Luz, among other places. He had several occasional jobs, among other things in the gastronomy business, in the Lagos area in this time period.

"In addition, there is information suggesting that he also earned his living by committing criminal offences, such as burglaries of hotel complexes and holiday flats as well as trafficking in narcotic drugs.

"Furthermore, the suspect was sentenced on numerous occasions to prison terms for sexual abuse of children in the past. This fact is probably not known to most of the contact persons." 

They have offered a reward of €10,000 euros for information about the man's whereabouts or vehicles he is known to have used in the area around the time of the three-year-old's disappearance. 

Investigators say they are looking to find out where the man was between 9.10pm and 10pm on the night of May 3, 2007.

They also say there is evidence that at least one of the vehicles - a dark red and yellow Jaguar and a white and yellow VW camper van - was used during the abduction and murder of Madeleine.