Brazil police finds suspect in British journalist search operation

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Suspects are found in the search for British journalist Dom Phillips and his companion Bruno Pereira in the Amazon, police in Brazil said.

Veteran reporter Mr Phillips, 57, and Brazilian indigenous expert Mr Pereira, 41, vanished in a remote part of the rainforest last week and are thought to have last been seen on June 5.

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Brazilian police said a suspect confessed to shooting the men and led them to the bodies.

Federal investigator Eduardo Alexandre Fonte said Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, 41, nicknamed Pelado, told officers he used a firearm to kill the two men.

He added that rescue teams travelled about one hour and forty minutes on the river and another 25 into the woods to reach the burial spot around three kilometres into the woods.

Pelado’s family have said previously that he denied any wrongdoing and claimed police tortured him to try to get a confession.

Another officer, Guilherme Torres of the Amazonas state police, said the missing men’s boat had not been found yet, but police knew the area where it purportedly was hidden by those involved in the crime.

‘They put bags of dirt on the boat so it would sink,’ he said. Federal police were photographed taking a hooded man they called a suspect out on the river where they were searching for signs of the missing men.

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The grim conclusion comes after the case has raised a global alarm, with pressure mounting on Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and concern growing in Parliament on Wednesday.

British PM Boris Johnson told MPs on Wednesday he was deeply concerned about the disappearance of Mr Phillips and said his government was working with Brazilian authorities to investigate the case.

He said: ‘What we’ve told the Brazilians is that we stand ready to provide all the support they may need.’

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