Polícia Judiciária

Severed head in Azambuja: a suicide, say police

Nothing to do with dismembered torso discovered in Cadaval

As surreal as it may instantly sound, the severed head discovered in scrubland near Aveiras, Azambuja yesterday “has nothing to do with the dismembered torso” discovered two days earlier 30 kms away.

Coincidences can happen: even in a country where dismembered bodies appear infrequently, two can clearly be discovered in the space of 48-hours.

This is the conclusion of authorities following yesterday’s unsettling find – and in this particular case, there has been an identity ‘semi-confirmed’: the victim (whose body has since been found, albeit we are not told how/ where, or in what condition) appears to be Ukrainian local resident Mykhailo Krainykovskyi, last seen in the area on Sunday, March 5. 

According to reports, police are “satisfied this was a case of suicide, and that there was no third party involvement”.

How does one commit suicide by severing one’s own head? This has been answered by Correio da Manhã which explains the victim (if it was Krainykovskyi) used a form of wire to hang himself. 

“The head will have been severed by the action of the wire used by the suicider – a Ukrainian man who had been missing for around a month”, says the paper.

The trouble with this explanation is that Mykhailo Krainykovskyi has not been missing for “around a month”. He has been missing for exactly two months (less one day).

Yesterday, a reporter for CNN Portugal said the “state of decomposition of the head does not match the state of decomposition of the body parts found in Cadaval”.

According to the reporter, the head was not as decomposed as the Cadaval body parts.  The Cadaval body parts meantime are being linked to a drugs delivery that went wrong “a month ago”.

Thus, the question is if the head did not appear as decomposed as body parts linked to an event a month ago’, but belonged to a man who went missing two months ago, what happened to that man, for all intents and purposes missing since March 5, in the meantime?

For now, the explanations are what they are: CM is sticking to: “The head is that of a Ukrainain man who has been missing for around a month” – and no news sources seem to be querying the iffy timeline.

Focus is much more on the body parts discovered in Cadaval, and how they appear to have been the result of a ‘cartel killing’, in retaliation over a €100 million cocaine trafficking operation that went pear-shaped.

In this case, the head is still missing. But Lisbon PJ police are understood to believe the victim “will have been Brazilian”

According to CM, “tattoos discovered on the torso open the possibility to the victim being Brazilian – there were distinctive signs that point to that country, and open the door to a settling of scores relating to drug-trafficking.

“One of the possibilities on the table is that the murder will have been connected to the discovery of cocaine a month ago in Peniche”, the paper goes on. “At the time, a ton and a half of cocaine was recovered after a high-speed launch washed up on the coast. At stake will have been €100 million worth of drugs, which should have gone on to central Europe (for sale/ distribution) but which instead was seized by police because of a mistake by whoever was in charge of unloading the drugs”.

Peniche is ‘about 30 kms’ from the place where the severed body parts were discovered on Tuesday/ Wednesday. Thus, for police, this fits easily with their theories.

Says CM, there are various hypotheses on the table: one is that whoever ‘lost’ the potential €100 million due to the botched drug hand-over hired third parties to kill the person responsible.

“The dismemberment of the body will have been a way of giving an internal sign to members of the criminal group that errors are paid with one’s life”, says CM.

“Even so, the authorities are a long way from identifying the authors of the murder, and the victim”.

In other words, police have been presented with two dismembered bodies in three days, and there are unlikely to be any arrests over either of them anytime soon, if at all:

“The next few days should see exams done to see if it is possible to identify the (dead) man through his finger prints, and if he is Brazilian whether or not there is any record of him on our databases. If this does not happen, the help of Brazilian authorities could be sought, with a view to identifying the victim of this brutal murder”, concludes CM.

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