Police investigating the abduction of three young brothers have made a further arrest, taking the total number of arrests to 13 over the past five days.

The search comes after Imran Safi broke into the children's foster home on Coulsdon Road around 6pm on August 20 and threatened their foster mother with a knife before taking them away in a red Nissan Qashqai.

Officers conducted an arrest of a 31-year-old man at a residential address in Ilford today, on suspicion of conspiracy to abduct a child. He currently remains in custody at a south London police station.

The four men previously arrested on August 28 at an address in Ilford, were subsequently released and are due to return on bail to a south London police station on a date in early September.

All four were arrested on suspicion of being involved in abduction of the Safi brothers, and are thought to be known to the suspect, Imran Safi.

But the search for Bilal, Mohammed Ebrar and Mohammed Yaseen Safi and their biological father continues.

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Chief Superintendent Dave Stringer, Commander of the South Area Basic Command Unit, said: “Whilst this is a fast-paced and developing investigation, we still need more information from the public to help us locate the children and their father.

“Over the 48 hours since we first appealed for help on the afternoon of Thursday, 27 August, we have received around 40 calls from members of the public to our control room and via Crimestoppers.

"These calls are now being followed up by my officers who continue to work all hours of the day to bring these children home safely.

“I would really urge anyone from the Croydon and Ilford areas to think long and hard about whether they saw these children, or their father, on the evening of August 20 and possibly the morning of August 21.”

The Met is continuing to appeal for any sightings on the afternoon of August 20 of a red Nissan Qashqai, registration PK13 WFO, in the Croydon area, particularly Coulsdon Road, to get in touch. The vehicle itself has now been located.

Officers are also asking anyone who believes they have seen Imran Safi and his children to contact police immediately through the investigation control room on 07942599374.

Alternatively, to stay completely anonymous, contact the charity Crimestoppers on freephone 0800 555 111 or fill in their simple and secure anonymous online form at crimestoppers-uk.org.

Any member of the public who may see Imran Safi should avoid approaching him but call police immediately on 999.