The wife of the Greek ambassador to Brazil hid her face Saturday as she was taken to jail, as authorities suspect her of having her husband murdered by her policeman lover.
Francoise Souza Oliveira, 40, held a shirt over her head while officers escorted her out of the police station to a jail in Belford Roxo, Brazil. Her transfer came the day after her Officer Sergio Moreira, with whom she was romantically involved, confessed to police he had killed her husband, according to investigators.
Ambassador Kyriakos Amiridis, 59, went missing on Monday night. Oliveira, his Brazilian wife and the mother of their 10-year-old daughter, reported him missing to police on Wednesday.
But authorities now believe that 29-year-old Moreira killed Amiridis in a ‘crime of passion’ at Oliveira’s direction. They said the ambassador was likely stabbed in the Rio De Janeiro home he owned with his wife, and that his body was burnt afterwards.
Oliveira and Moreira were both taken into custody on Friday. Police have also detained a cousin of the officer, who investigators believe acted as a lookout while the crime was committed and helped carry the body from the house with the promise that he would be paid $25,000.
Moreira and Oliveira had arranged the murder a few days in advance, according to investigator Evaristo Magalhaes.
‘This was a tragic, cowardly act, but we worked tirelessly to crack this case as soon as possible,’ Magalhaes told a news conference. ‘It was a crime of passion.’
Magalhaes said that blood was found on a couch inside the home and the ambassador was likely stabbed to death as no shots were reported in the area.
However, he said it was not yet possible to determine the exact cause of death because the policeman had burned the ambassador’s body in an attempt to cover up the crime.
A burned corpse was found on Thursday evening inside the car that Amiridis and his wife had rented. It was parked under a highway overpass in the area where the couple had been staying.
On Thursday, police confirmed that the ambassador had been missing since Monday night, when he was last seen leaving the Rio home he shared with his wife, which was located near her family’s residence in Nova Iguacu.
Brazilian President Michel Temer, in a letter addressed to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, said the ambassador’s killing had caused him profound sadness and he extended his condolences to the ambassador’s family, friends and the Greek people.
The Greek embassy in Brasilia declined to comment. In Athens, Greek foreign ministry spokesman Stratos Efthymiou said the government also had no comment.
Amridis, who took over as Greece’s ambassador to Brazil in January this year, was Greek consul in Rio de Janeiro for three years from 2001, where he met his wife.
Before returning to Brazil, he was also the Greek ambassador in Libya for four years from 2012.
Crime in Rio has been rising and the state is deeply indebted, often unable to pay police and other salaries on time, if at all.
The neighborhood where the car was found is dominated by powerful and politically connected armed groups comprised mostly of off-duty or retired police and firefighters who control vast areas.
They often extort residents in exchange for keeping drug gangs from taking over the areas.
The armed groups have grown for several years and often curry favor with local politicians by promising to deliver votes from entire neighborhoods as long as authorities allow them to carry out their crimes.
The Nova Iguacu area of Metropolitan Rio, where Mr Amiridis and his wife were passing the Christmas holidays, is notorious for crime and its high murder rate.
In April this year Brazilian senator Aureo Riberito was kidnapped by four armed men in the same region and later released.
In October the well-known president of the Belford Roxo samba school, Reginaldo Gomes, was also kidnapped by four armed men on a street in Nova Iguacu. The gang also later released him after stealing money and his car.
In the run up to Brazil’s municipal elections, at least 14 politicians were murdered in the region in nine months, blamed on death squads operating in the region.
SOURCE: Daily Mail – Clemence Michallon and Matt Roper