Moroccan arrested for murder and dismemberment of Portuguese emigré
The Schrassig penitentary centre near Luxembourg where Diana Santos' alleged killer is being held

Moroccan arrested for murder and dismemberment of Portuguese emigré

Diana Santos ‘broke’ terms of a contract with the ‘marriages mafia’

A 48-year-old Moroccan man has been arrested in Luxembourg over the murder and subsequent dismemberment of emigré Diana Santos.

According to reports, Said Banhakeia “did not accept that Diana Santos had broken the marriage contract with his nephew, for which she had received €20,000.

“He killed her in cold blood at home”, writes Correio da Manhã today. “He decapitated her and dismembered her and left the body (minus arms, legs and head) in a location frequented by drug addicts in Mont-Saint-Martin, France” – roughly 30 km  from the border with Luxembourg.

“Authorities believe the way the Portuguese woman was killed and dismembered could have served as a warning to other women who break contracts with the marriages mafia”, the paper added.

CM has over the last few days been explaining that this ‘mafia’ can reward European women for entering into marriages with non-Europeans, allowing these to apply for EU passports which mean they can circulate freely within the Schengen Area.

In this particular case, Diana Santos appears to have been initially promised over €40,000 to marry Said Banhakeia’s nephew Gibran Banhakeia. She saw the money as a way of ‘getting her life straight’, her son Kiko, 22, who lives with family in Portugal, has been explaining.

The sum reduced, but the Portuguese singer/ waitress stuck with the ‘deal’. What she did not do however was “remain married for a year, as agreed”, says CM.

And this is allegedly what led to the horrific outcome.

Said Banhakeia’s Facebook page shows what has been interpreted as sign that he killed Diana Santos on September 18 – the day before her naked torso was discovered at the back of an abandoned building.

One post showed a photograph of his face, with the words across it saying: “Said will continue single, but rich”. The other a few minutes later – and just before midnight – was a ‘rest in peace’ message, in black.

The 48-year-old was brought before a magistrate in Nancy yesterday, and remanded in custody until a trial date.

Police however are continuing to investigate. They suspect Bankakeia may well have had help in the murder and disposal of the body (the head, legs and arms have yet to be discovered).

Gibran Banhakeia has also ‘disappeared’. CM suggests he may have returned to Morocco. Authorities are intent on locating him.

Meantime, Diana Santos’ devastated family are in touch with consular authorities in Luxembourg to organise repatriation of their loved one’s remains for a ‘proper funeral’.

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com