Suspected Alvor acid attack ‘hit man’ “tracked to Ugandan jail”

An exclusive today in UK tabloid the Daily Mail suggests police have finally got a name for the acid attack ‘hit man’ allegedly contracted to maim British holiday rep Ellie Chessell in Alvor earlier this year (click here).

He has been identified as Edmundo Hélder Rodrigues Fonseca, and he is believed to be languishing in a Ugandan jail on drug trafficking charges.

Authorities have already identified the man they think took out the alleged contract on 29-year-old Ellie. He is a former boyfriend, Claudio Gouveia, 34, who was arrested in his hometown of Funchal, in Madeira, shortly after the horrific attack.

Gouveia has been held in preventive custody on the island of Madeira ever since.

Says the Mail, Portuguese authorities will now seek Fonseca’s extradition from Uganda, so that he and Gouveia can both stand trial together.

The charges have yet to be settled, but according to the Mail they will include assault and attempted murder.

Ellie Chessell is described in today’s article as having “serious injuries on her face and body”.

This is ‘news’ inasmuch as initial stories suggested the two litres of acid thrown at her after she had been ‘lured’ to a meeting in a quiet road in Alvor missed her face.

Today’s account in the Mail claims the acid was “thrown in her face”.

Another question mark hangs over how police discovered Fonseca’s name in the first place.

Ellie told them from her hospital bed that she had never seen the man who attacked her.

According to the Mail, “it has not been revealed who supplied them with the name of Fonseca but Portuguese police issued an arrest warrant for him and his photo circulated on an Interpol bulletin alert”.

If it hadn’t been for a “sharp eyed British Interpol agent” working in the Ugandan capital of Kampala, Fonseca’s whereabouts might have taken a great deal longer to establish.

The agent “checked the (Interpol) database and made the connection” says the Mail.

All that needs to be verified now is that the Edmundo Hélder Rodrigues Fonseca in the Ugandan jail is the right man.

Says the Mail, Portuguese authorities have to rule out “the remote possibility that someone else is using his identity”.

They have sent photographs and fingerprint details to authorities in Uganda, and are now waiting to hear back.

The circumstances surrounding 44-year-old Fonseca’s arrest in Uganda have also not been made clear, the paper adds, saying the east African country “is seen by drugs enforcement agents as a staging post for the supply of heroin to Europe”.

While Ellie Chessell has not spoken publicly about her terrible ordeal, the Mail says this second arrest will come as a “huge relief” to her and her family as it marks another step towards some form of closure.

[email protected]