Brazilian police suspect ′crime of passion′ in Greek ambassador′s death | News | DW | 30.12.2016
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Brazilian police suspect 'crime of passion' in Greek ambassador's death

Kyriakos Amiridis went missing the day after Christmas near Rio de Janeiro. His remains were found in a burned out car several days later.

Police investigators in Rio de Janeiro said the wife of Greece's slain ambassador to Brazil is now a suspect in the diplomat's death.

Authorities have yet to charge anyone in the death of the 59-year-old Kyriakos Amiridis, whose body was found in the charred remains of a rental car on Wednesday, but his wife, Françoise Amiridis (aka Francoise de Souza Oliveira), has been questioned by police, along with two other men. One of the men, Sergio Moreira, is a police officer with whom she is suspected of having an affair.

Amiridis, and two other people - all considered "suspects" - were brought in for questioning at the homicide division for Baixada Fluminense, a neighborhood on Rio de Janeiro's west side - near where the ambassador's wife had a home.

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Rio police think body in car is Greek diplomat

Mrs. Amiridis, who first reported her husband missing two days after his disappearance, was first questioned by police on Thursday.

But "the (police) division chief wanted to see her again," and she was brought in for further questioning Friday morning.

Police suspect the ambassador's wife and Moreira arranged and, perhaps, carried out the murder in her home in the Rio suburb.

Blood on a sofa

A local newspaper, O Globo, first reported the ambassador's murder may have been "a crime of passion." The paper also reported that blood was found on a couch inside his wife's home. 

The car was found under a bridge in a neighborhood dominated by powerful and politically connected armed groups - many of whom are off-duty or retired police officers and firefighters who control vast areas.

Brasilien - grieschicher Botschafter Kyriakos Amiridis im Auto verbrannt (picture-alliance/AP Photo/L. Correa)

The burned out shell of the car in which the remains of Ambassdor Amiridis were reportedly found

They are suspected of frequently extorting residents in exchange for keeping drug gangs from taking over the areas.

In recent years the armed groups have grown in strength, and often curry favor with local politicians by promising to deliver votes from entire neighborhoods as long as authorities close their eyes to the armed groups' extortion racquet.

Crime in Rio is on the rise and the state is deeply in debt, often unable to pay police and other salaries on time, if at all.

Ambassador Amiridis served as Greece's consul general to Rio from 2001 to 2004. He was Greece's ambassador to Libya from 2012 until he took the top Brazil post at the start of 2016.

In Athens, Greek foreign ministry spokesman Stratos Efthymiou said the government had no comment about the case.

The ambassador and his wife had a 10-year-old daughter and resided in the Brazil's capital city, Brasilia.

bik/kms (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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