English Police say that Maddie McCann assassins are Portuguese and are involved in drug trafficking
by Tânia Laranjo/Rui Pando Gomes
They are Portuguese and have a criminal record for drug trafficking. The English police states that they assaulted the apartment at the Ocean Club resort, in Lagos, and killed Madeleine McCann on 3 May 2007.
The phone calls made before and after the crime were used as evidence to support the searches that have been ongoing since Monday.
Scotland Yard also ensures that there is a British witness who saw one of the men carrying a child in his arms up to the wasteland, situated less than 500 meters from the resort. The British say that he fled, but before he was able to bury the girl's cadaver.
They want to hear the three suspects, but they still lack the evidence to support the claim.
“Those who are going to commit a robbery do not travel on foot and they will not abandon a body so close to the crime scene. Moreover, there were no signs of forced entry at the apartment”, said Gonçalo Amaral, the former PJ inspector who investigated the case and considers that this new theory is not credible.
This version is, incidentally, one among others contained in the letter rogatory which determined that the searches would take place. Though it is the strongest, the British open the door to other possibilities. Other five suspects are listed, they also have a criminal record for theft.
Seven years after the disappearance, the British police now guarantees to the Public Prosecutor's Office that their claim was well founded. The description given by a British holidaymaker coincides with one of the suspects who lives nearby. The woman saw him speaking in English on the phone, as he passed, carrying the child in his arms.
Extra inserts from paper edition of Correio da Manhã, pages 8 &9, with thanks to Textusa (obrigada)
Searches until next week
The searches on the scrubland will be extended until next week. Scotland Yard has already requested to the Public Prosecutor's Office for the collaboration of other criminal police forces, which should be accepted during the course of today.
The English guarantee that the searches took longer than what was expected and that they need more time to rule out the possibility that Madeleine McCann is buried in that location. They want, at least, one more week to be able to work in the area. The Public Prosecutor's Office will only decide if it will accept Scotland Yard's request to question the three Portuguese men after the results of the search are known.
Phones may prove crime
The English authorities included in the rogatory letter data about the phones of the three suspects. They say that these were in the resort and that they talked between themselves on the mobile phones.
Former PJ says that thesis points to parents
Gonçalo Amaral says that this new thesis points again to the parents: “According to international procedures, to look for a body in the place of disappearance is to make responsible those who had the child under their care.”
Frailties of the English Theory
PJ doubts thesis claimed by the English
The scrubland where the searches are now focused had already been searched by the authorities. On the day of the disappearance hundreds of police officers were on that site looking for the child.
Hard to bury
In the scrubland where the English police has focused the searches there are various limestone rock areas that make it almost impossible for a body to have been buried there.
Hiding a crime
PJ considers of little credibility that in the case of a failed burglary, the thief would risk carrying the body. The norm would be to flee the area and ditch the cadaver.
The female tourist says she heard the suspect speaking in British English. Taking into account that it was a Portuguese man who was allegedly speaking to another Portuguese man, it's not plausible that the conversation took place in another language.
The Judiciary Police has doubts about the fact that it was a group of thieves. If that had happened it would be very hard to keep the “secret” under lid for so many years.
Maddie’s death – in the English theory – happened 7 years ago. It will be difficult for the sniffer dogs to pick up cadaver odour now.
English Police on the ground
Sock was found
A sock was found in the searches which the English wish to confirm if it belongs to one of the possible kidnappers. DNA tests may be requested.
On site – Drug plant
A cannabis plant that was discovered in the area is making the English suspect that that location may be a place used by traffickers do hide drugs.
Searches – Micro cameras
Scotland Yard used micro cameras on fibre optic cables to check the sewers near were the searches are taking place. Holes were opened on the ground.
What the English media say
British press highlights the effort by the English and Portuguese in the searches for Maddie’s body
In its online edition, it highlights the importance of the sniffer dog and the georadar equipment in Scotland Yard searches near the Ocean Club, in Praia da Luz.
Highlights the fact that the police started to search for vestiges in various sewer entries, not far from where Maddie disappeared. It also highlights the Portuguese cooperation.
Daily Mail says that bones were found and that Scotland Yard has been keeping the parents updated on everything the police is doing in Praia da Luz.
in Correio da Manhã, June 6, 2014