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Kyriakos Amiridis

Charred body may be Greek ambassador: Brazil police

A body found inside a charred vehicle near Rio de Janeiro may be that of the Greek ambassador to Brazil, missing since Monday night.

Published: December 30, 2016, 10:37 am

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    Kyriakos Amiridis had been on holiday in the country.

    The Greek foreign ministry had earlier issued a statement saying that after Amiridis was declared missing, “the full mobilization of all the competent Brazilian authorities was requested,” The Telegraph reported. Rio de Janeiro’s state police had confirmed earlier on Thursday that the ambassador had been missing for three days.

    Amiridis was named Greece’s ambassador to Brazil at the beginning of 2016, having previously served as consul general in Rio until 2004. Before moving back to Brazil, he served as Greek ambassador to Libya between 2012 and 2016.

    Brazilian authorities said Thursday they are examining a corpse found in a burned car in the city of Nova Iguacu, north of Rio: “The information that we can confirm right now is that we have found a car in [the district of] Nova Iguacu with a body and it is being investigated.”

    The source in the police’s homicide squad declined to speculate on the car’s license plate matching that of the car Amiridis is reported to have rented, nor when DNA results would become available.

    The car’s license plates indeed match those of Amiridis’ rental vehicle, according to Globo, which showed pictures of the charred car underneath an overpass in the Nova Iguacu neighborhood where Amiridis went missing.

    A police spokeswoman told The Associated Press that a family member reported Amiridis missing. He had been vacationing with his family and was last seen Monday evening leaving the home of friends of his Brazilian wife.

    Rio police inspector Evaristo Pontes told the “Folha de S. Paulo” newspaper it was unlikely Amiridis was kidnapped. “We’re following some leads, but not that one,” he said. “If it had been [a kidnapping], those who took him would have made contact by now.”

    karin@praag.org

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