Supermarket clients and staff at Intermarché in Valongo were variously horrified on Saturday as a young Venezuelan, described as “clearly on drugs”, brought clothes covered in blood into the onsite laundry.
The man asked the woman in charge to “wash and dry everything quickly as he was leaving the country”.
Seeing the state of the clothes, the woman called PSP police.
But even before police arrived, the Venezuelan is understood to have attracted attention to himself by stealing a €12 plant from the mall’s florists, writes Correio da Manhã.
By the time he was approached by agents, it was clear something was badly wrong.
The man is described as walking police calmly to his car parked outside and opening the boot.
Inside lay the body of Greater Lisbon taxi driver Alcino Amaral.
It was then that the pieces of this puzzle started falling into place.
A taxi driver had been seen having an argument with what witnesses presumed was a client in the early hours of Saturday morning, outside Sintra’s Barcarena railway station.
The ‘client’ beat the driver badly and then stuffed him into the car, before taking to the wheel and disappearing off at high speed with his victim’s legs still “outside of the car”.
It is not clear whether the legs were trailing, or simply sticking out of the window.
A witness to the commotion told CM: “I heard a car horn go, and a man shouting. I came to the veranda and my neighbour told me that a car had just pulled away with the door open and that you could see the legs of a man outside the car. We called the police.”
Thus, it seems the incident in Sintra is connected to the macabre discovery in Valongo, over 330km away and many hours later.
CM explains the alleged murderer is “connected to Venezuela, where he was born” and may have been a drug trafficker.
Alcino Amaral was known for being a regular driver for prostitutes, and it was one of his clients who is understood to have asked him to ferry the Venezuelan around last week, as he was believed to have been “distributing drugs”.
Known to police for trafficking, the 34-year-old Venezuelan is now in police custody, where agents are attempting to discover a motive for the attack.
Meantime, the body of Alcino Amaral has been taken to a Porto mortuary for autopsy.