Madeleine v paedophilia in Portugal – SIS

The 2006 Correio da Manhã report on paedophilia covered 3 aspects of activity in Portugal – a year 2000 report by the SIS, the Casa Pia scandal, and up to date statistics on paedophiles in Portuguese prisons.

I intend to dig a lot deeper into this trio, so I might as well start with the report issued by the SIS in the year 2000.

According to Wikipedia “The Serviço de Informações de Segurança or SIS (Portuguese for: Security Information Service) is the Portuguese Intelligence and Secret Service agency founded in 1984. The function of the SIS is to guarantee the internal security and prevent sabotage, terrorism, espionage and the practice of acts which, by their nature, can change or destroy the Rule of Law as constitutionally established.”

According to the SIS home page “The SIS remains committed to its essential mission to prevent and combat major threats, such as terrorism, organised crime, espionage and all acts that undermine the democratic rule of law.”

There are alternate dates given for the SIS report, but these do not appear to be significant. The report was entitled “A pedofilia em Portugal: ponto da situação”, or “Paedophilia in Portugal: state of play”. The director of the SIS at that time was Rui Pereira.

This information was allegedly passed to the criminal authorities, but so far I have only seen a single instance where action may have resulted.

The report claimed there were 4 black-spots for paedophilia in Portugal at the time – the Azores, Madeira, Lisbon and Porto. The report further claimed that there were 3 international paedophile rings operating in Portugal. It turns out they were based in Lisbon. It is claimed that one was led by a French person, whilst the other 2 were led by UK citizens.

In Lisbon, it was noted that paedophilia involved high status individuals in places like Eduardo VII park. A further claim was that boys of 10-14 were being picked up for sex, to take photos and to make videos. Then there is a rather odd assertion that the Easter and Christmas breaks were popular for paedophilia.

The picture in Porto is much shorter. It was claimed that most instances of paedophilia there were within the family.

Público” reported on the situation in the Azores in Dec 2003. They had seen the year 2000 SIS report, which split paedophilia within the islands into different categories.

One area of concern was children aged 7 to 12 being harassed at school.

Another was child prostitution, which appeared to have been on-going for a period of time in known areas of the Azores. In rural areas, this was typically amongst the poor, exchanging sexual services for essential foodstuffs, such as milk. In the more affluent areas of the islands, the issue was linked to the Azores being in magazines for homosexuals as a place where one could obtain under-age sex, and take photographs and make pornographic videos.

It is important to note that this link between homosexuality and paedophilia was published in Dec 2003, but it does not appear to have drawn any response from the Portuguese gay community, suggesting the report at that time was not on their radar.

The part of the SIS report covering Madeira does not seem to have surfaced before July 2006. The report identified poverty as the underlying driver, with Madeira a destination for sex tourists who could afford to pay both for the sex and enough to make sure silence was kept. In the case of Madeira, the report also concluded there was an issue with intra-family paedophilia.

Was the SIS document a secret? The answer appears to be yes and no. In July 2006, the Casa Pia trial was in full swing. The SIS document had been mentioned in testimony by one individual, and the judge then deliberated as to whether this document could be added to others as part of the trial record. It seems it was decided it could be made public, and the ex-director of the SIS was summoned to court to validate the report was accurate, in the sense that it was the actual document produced in 2000. Rui Pereira confirmed this was the case.

The essence of the report was published on 12 July 2006 by major media sources such as Correio da Manhã and Diário de Notícias and got re-reported by large chunks of the Portuguese media. And on 13 July 2006, ILGA Portugal faxed a letter of complaint to the Prime Minister of Portugal.

The complaint was the perceived equation of homosexuality and paedophilia in the SIS report. The fax said a recent study had found same-sex paedophilia was about 5% of cases, 90% of paedophilia occurred within the family or in institutions for the care of minors, and that the SIS report stated the most likely person to abuse a child was a heterosexual male aged around 35 years.

I have not read the original SIS report, so I have no interest in working out the accuracy or otherwise of the report re homosexual tourism. Given the date of the ILGA response, it would appear that ILGA Portugal had not picked up the Público article of Dec 2003.

How then did Público become aware of the SIS report by 2003? The initial allegation in the Casa Pia case seems to have surfaced in Nov 2002, and it looks like more than one journalist was taking an interest in the developments. The person who revealed the existence of the SIS report to the court had gone to work in France, and had been given a copy of the report by a journalist who was working on the French-Portuguese paedophile connection.

Now we have a cluster of instances that possibly primed some of what occurred in the Madeleine McCann case.

Nov 2002 or thereabouts – the Casa Pia story first emerges. Around that time, journalists became aware of the SIS report and its contents. 2004 – the Casa Pia trial began and became a media firestorm due to the high profile of the defendants. July 2006 – the SIS report gets wide airing in Portuguese main stream media.

By this time, the British Ambassador to Portugal, and the British Consul on the Algarve should have been well-primed about paedophile rings and paedophile activity in Portugal and on the Algarve. I would be amazed if they weren’t.

As to how Gerry McCann came to be discussing paedophile rings on his phone the night Madeleine disappeared, that is is a question I cannot answer.

Here is the acid test. Did the year 2000 SIS report hint at Casa Pia? No, it did not, despite the fact that the Casa Pia incident was both active and long running when the report was produced.

Madeleine v paedophilia in Spain

The mid-2006 article by Correio da Manhã had this to say about paedophilia in Spain.

It is recalled that, in early July [2006], the Spanish authorities have arrested 42 people suspected of being part of a child pornography distribution network over the internet. According to the Civil Guard of Navarre, Portugal was one of the recipient countries of photographs of minors realised in Spain.

The denunciation from a 17 year old girl was behind the operation, which began after the detection of 27 photographic archives managed by a group of users in Spain and Andorra, which was part of an international network.”

The police operation in this case was Operation Voyeur, and a further explanation gives the following.

The international paedophile network on the Internet was dismantled by Spanish police. The operation began with a complaint from a young woman who alerted police to the circulation of photographs of her on the Internet. The network included doctors, companies and IT directors.

In total, the Spanish police arrested 42 people and another 120 are under suspicion of “corruption of minors and possession of child pornography,” says “El Mundo”.

The operation, called “Voyeur”, lasted in Spain seven months and began in Navarre, north of the country after a 17 year old girl alert police to the fact that they are circulating on the Internet several photographs that showed naked with 13 years.

According to the Navarre authorities ‘ the investigation will remain open, “since the girl’s images continue to circulate in Portugal, France, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Russia, Israel, United States, Panama , Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Thailand.

The network, which according to the authorities acted mainly in Spain and Andorra, was engaged mainly distribute, publish and share photos, and the subpoenas elapsed in 21 Spanish provinces.

The Spanish authorities coordinated the end of February an operation in the area of paedophilia on the Internet, and then summoned 108 people from 19 countries of Europe and Latin America.”

Although a 13 year old girl is quite different from a 4 year old Madeleine McCann, this gives an indication of the scope of the issue. However these people got into the information loop about this material is not covered, but there must have been some entry method for the material to be circulated across 17 countries.

The following is a case in 2016 in Galicia, the area of Spain just to the north of Portugal. My quick search for events in 2006 turned it up because the activities of the guilty party dated back at least to that time.

The Provincial Court of Coruña has sentenced to six years and six months in prison a 61-year-old man accused of distributing child pornography from his home and produce this kind of material using the three minor children of a niece.

Specifically, he received one year and six months for a crime of distributing child pornography in competition with [concurrent with] an offence of possession of this material, and five years for a crime of using children under 13 years for the production of pornographic material.

He will also be subjected to four years of probation and may not approach within 300 meters of the victims of the case or communicate with them for 10 years. Each will also receive a compensation of 6,666 euros.

The judgement considers proven that the man, at least since 2006, “was dedicated to getting files” of child pornography through an exchange program on the Internet. The condemned had 22,598 image files and 459 videos in his possession. They were discovered when he took his computer to a repair technician, who reported him to the police.”

This raises the idea of another ring or rings on the Internet where the exchange was taking place, covering what appears to be a large volume of material. Unfortunately, the report does not give any idea of how this operated. What is clear is that shutting down a large ring in Spain in 2006, with considerable publicity, did not deter this man from distribution and exchange.

http://www.elancasti.com.ar/internacional/2006/12/29/catorce-detenidos-espana-pedofilia-149525.html This short report from 29 Dec 2006 says that the Civil Guard has arrested 14 people located in 11 regions of Spain, seizing a great deal of paedophile material. The article does not say whether this is some sort of continued activity of Operation Voyeur or whether it is completely distinct.

Without attempting to be definitive, a further two articles surfaced rapidly.

http://www.diariodejerez.es/andalucia/detail.php?id=583224 This 10 Dec 2009 article is about Operation Dominó. Despite the operation name and being handled by the Civil Guard in Navarre as per Operation Voyeur, the cases do not seem to be linked. In this instance the ring was detected when an individual downloaded what was thought to be a music file and it contained paedophilia instead. 15 people were arrested and detained, with a further 4 being charged. One person was working in a primary school, had been collecting paedophile material for 10 years, and had a terabyte of paedophile pornography. The age and location of those charged is given, and on this occasion the ring is spread across Spain, but does not appear to have an international element.

http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2008/07/14/espana/1216049768.html In July 2008, El Mundo reported the capture of yet another paedophile ring. This time 15 people were detained and a further 11 arrested. The locations were all across Spain, but no international component is noted. Operation Fotograma began after a person downloaded what looked like a program file from the Internet but found out it was paedophilia.

The same article gives a useful broad brush picture of the history of paedophilia in Spain. According to figures from the Ministry of the Interior, there were 52 people arrested in 2003, increasing to 238 in 2006, while by July 2008, the number of arrests for 2008 was already over 250.

Before moving on to what the Correio da Manhã article says about paedophilia in Portugal, a few conclusions can be drawn.

First, paedophilia was rife in Holland and Spain, so a reasonable expectation is that it will be rife in Portugal.

Second, there is only one instance (the one in Holland) of the authorities finding paedophile activity by monitoring the Internet, and in the Dutch example, police were monitoring a self-proclaimed paedophile. This suggests that on-line detection capability is very weak. Perhaps CEOP is different.

Third, there is nothing to suggest that any of these catches were trawled to see if Madeleine McCann appears in any. Perhaps police forces routinely share such hauls across international borders, but there is no indication of this.

Fourth, all of those caught were involved in sharing, which by definition means there has to be some way of communicating to others an interest in paedophile material. In Holland, the paedophile magazine/club seems one obvious answer, but there is no hint of an equivalent in Spain.

Fifth, there is no evidence of a child disappearing in any of these tales of broken paedophile rings.

Sixth, none of these cases involves the Dark Net. It does not look like advanced security was being used by the paedophiles. There is nothing beyond camouflaging paedophile material as music or programs.

Madeleine v paedophilia in Holland

Please note this is not a scholarly or definitive article about paedophilia in Holland. I wanted to get a little more information on the 2006 write-up by Correio da Manhã re paedophilia in Portugal, because I could not work out how such people manage to gravitate together.

A summary of the relevant part of the Correio da Manhã article is as follows.

Someone in Holland complained of historic paedophile abuse, and the alleged abuser was traced to Portugal. Once the man was arrested by the PJ, his son came forward to say that he had also been abused, and named 3 other victims. This lead to 4 men in total being arrested, each seemingly with US and Dutch passports, 2 in Holland and 2 in Portugal. The men were all described as IT experts, but Correio da Manhã says there was no report of pornographic material being found.

A quick search to find out how this case first broke and how it concluded produced nothing, other than some very unusual background information.

Vereniging MARTIJN was a paedophile club founded in Holland in 1984. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vereniging_Martijn This circulated a magazine to members by mail, featuring scantily clad children and giving advice on how to encourage the children. And it advocated for the legalisation of child sex and child pornography. The club was recently declared illegal and ordered to disband. After some going back and forth in the courts, it seems the European Court of Human Rights has agreed with this.

The home of the organization’s president, Ad van den Berg, was raided by police in October 2010; downloads of illegal material had been traced back to Van den Berg’s internet connection. This led to finds of child pornography.

Ad van den Berg had been one of the founder members of PNVD on 31 May 2006. This was a political party with only 3 known members. It had many aims, but key amongst these were the desire to legalise paedophile sex and child pornography. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_for_Neighbourly_Love,_Freedom,_and_Diversity After some court battles, it was decided the party was legal, under freedom of association laws, and it was permitted to stand in elections. However, it failed to gather the minimal support required for election entry, never contested an election, and was disbanded in March 2010.

Correio da Manhã stated the Dutch victims were between 8 and 16 and the abuse occurred between 1987 and 1991, in Amsterdam.

If you check the first link, you’ll find there is an ‘Amsterdam sex scandal’ of children in kindergartens. This is a Dec 2010 story that a Latvian in Amsterdam, 27 year-old Robert Mikelsons had been accused of abusing young children. He had acquired Dutch citizenship in 2008. He was married to Richard van Olfenn, who in turn was a long-term member of Vereniging MARTIJN.

Whether the Correio da Manhã story links directly via Vereniging MARTIJN, the Amsterdam sex scandal or neither is something I can’t be bothered to examine. This aspect of the case could take months and there is no hint that any child disappeared, unlike Madeleine McCann.

Madeleine – St Vincent’s

The church: St Vincent’s, Praia da Luz, Algarve, Portugal.
Denomination: Church of England, Diocese in Europe.
The building: The church is actually the Roman Catholic church of Nossa Senhora da Luz (Our Lady of Light); St Vincent’s Anglican congregation uses it with the gracious permission of the Portuguese Catholics. It is a squat whitewashed building with a bell tower. The body consists of a simple nave with whitewashed walls and small windows up near the wooden vaulted ceiling, with stations of the cross under the windows. On entering, the first thing you notice is a large golden altar in a stone archway containing a central statue of Mary carrying baby Jesus flanked by two other statues which appear to be a knight in armour and a priest. To the right of the altar is a large crucifix; to the left is a lectern with the sanctuary light hanging behind it. At the back of the church is a small gallery with a circular window.
The church: The chaplaincy of St Vincent’s stretches along the entire south coast of Portugal, known as the Algarve, and comprises three churches situated at Praia da Luz, Almancil and Gorjoes. At this particular church, the Roman Catholics hold their services in Portuguese and English and St Vincent’s celebrates two holy communion services each Sunday and one on Thursdays. St Vincent’s has other weekly meetings such as Kids Club, Bible study, prayer group meetings, and a choir practice. When I looked in the pew sheet at the names of readers, sidesmen and other officials, I noticed some names that seemed to be Dutch, Scandinavian or Germanic as well as English; so it appears that they minister to people from a very broad range of traditions. On the third Friday of each month there is a Vigil for Missing Children (Portuguese and English). I presume this started with the tragic disappearance of the English toddler Madeline McCann in May 2007. I sincerely pray that she is discovered unharmed and returned to her desperate parents as soon as possible.
The neighbourhood: Praia da Luz was originally a small fishing village with little white fishermen’s cottages and cobbled streets. It has expanded considerably since the 1960s and is now a sprawl of villas and apartments. It is adjacent to the very picturesque beach of Praia da Luz, a golden sandy beach with deep orange cliffs on either side leading to an azure calm sea. There is a promenade complete with palm trees and benches backed by a cluster of cafes, bars and restaurants. Besides being a holiday resort, Praia da Luz is also home to many ex-pats from the UK, Scandinavia and Germany. The village has an air of tranquility and contentment, but it perhaps becomes livelier at the height of the holiday season in July and August. Opposite the church is the Restaurante da Fortaleza, which is next to a 500 year old fortress perched above the rocks.
The cast: The Revd John Wilson, locum chaplain.
The date & time: Sunday within the Octave of St Luke, 19 October 2008, 12.00pm.

What was the name of the service?
Choral Eucharist.

How full was the building?
It was a small church but was almost completely full – I would say there were about 100 people. The congregation appeared to be predominantly resident ex-pats, mostly retired, but there were also quite a number of younger parents with their children. All were smartly but casually dressed in summer attire. Many carried shoe boxes covered with wrapping paper, the purpose of which became clear later in the service.

[There is more at http://www.ship-of-fools.com/mystery/2008/1637.html ]

Here is what the interior of the church looked like in Oct 2008.

Church 2008

Madeleine v paedophilia in Holland

Please note this is not a scholarly or definitive article about paedophilia in Holland. I wanted to get a little more information on the 2006 write-up by Correio da Manhã re paedophilia in Portugal, because I could not work out how such people manage to gravitate together.

A summary of the relevant part of the Correio da Manhã article is as follows.

Someone in Holland complained of historic paedophile abuse, and the alleged abuser was traced to Portugal. Once the man was arrested by the PJ, his son came forward to say that he had also been abused, and named 3 other victims. This lead to 4 men in total being arrested, each seemingly with US and Dutch passports, 2 in Holland and 2 in Portugal. The men were all described as IT experts, but Correio da Manhã says there was no report of pornographic material being found.

A quick search to find out how this case first broke and how it concluded produced nothing, other than some very unusual background information.

Vereniging MARTIJN was a paedophile club founded in Holland in 1984. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vereniging_Martijn This circulated a magazine to members by mail, featuring scantily clad children and giving advice on how to encourage the children. And it advocated for the legalisation of child sex and child pornography. The club was recently declared illegal and ordered to disband. After some going back and forth in the courts, it seems the European Court of Human Rights has agreed with this.

The home of the organization’s president, Ad van den Berg, was raided by police in October 2010; downloads of illegal material had been traced back to Van den Berg’s internet connection. This led to finds of child pornography.

Ad van den Berg had been one of the founder members of PNVD on 31 May 2006. This was a political party with only 3 known members. It had many aims, but key amongst these were the desire to legalise paedophile sex and child pornography. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_for_Neighbourly_Love,_Freedom,_and_Diversity After some court battles, it was decided the party was legal, under freedom of expression laws, and it was permitted to stand in elections. However, it failed to gather the minimal support required for election entry, never contested an election, and was disbanded in March 2010.

Correio da Manhã stated the Dutch victims were between 8 and 16 and the abuse occurred between 1987 and 1991, in Amsterdam.

If you check the first link, you’ll find there is an ‘Amsterdam sex scandal’ of children in kindergartens. This is a Dec 2010 story that a Latvian in Amsterdam, 27 year-old Robert Mikelsons had been accused of abusing young children. He had acquired Dutch citizenship in 2008. He was married to Richard van Olfenn, who in turn was a long-term member of Vereniging MARTIJN.

Whether the Correio da Manhã story links directly via Vereniging MARTIJN, the Amsterdam sex scandal or neither is something I can’t be bothered to examine. This aspect of the case could take months and there is no hint that any child disappeared, unlike Madeleine McCann.

Madeleine v paedophilia 2

[25 Jul 2006 http://www.cmjornal.pt/portugal/detalhe/filho-de-pedofilo-denuncia-rede? There is no reporter credited for this work. I have tidied up the translation only a little, where it was very obviously wrong, but please treat this as a rough copy, not a polished article. So far, this is the best insight I have seen into paedophile activity within Portugal shortly before Madeleine disappeared.]

Son of paedophile denounces network

Two US citizens, 55 and 67, suspected to be members of a paedophile network with links to the Netherlands, were arrested in Portugal.

The two arrests made by the Judicial Police in fulfilment of two international arrest warrants were held in Cascais, on 7 February and 14 June of this year, as part of an investigation carried out by the Dutch police.

[“Cascais is a coastal town and a municipality in Portugal, 30 kilometres west of Lisbon. It is a cosmopolitan suburb of the Portuguese capital and one of the richest municipalities in Portugal.”]

Dutch authorities have announced the dismantlement of the organization with the capture of four American computer experts.

According found the CM, the authorities had the collaboration of the son of one of paedophiles to live in our country, also victim, who have been instrumental in the identification of other suspects. So far they arrested four Americans (two in Portugal and two in the Netherlands) and identified three Dutch youth as victims. Police admit, however, that there are more offended, why only now realized the arrests and will proceed with the investigation.

FOUR HELD

According found the CM with the Dutch Police, the case arose from a complaint by three Dutch men who decided to report the sexual abuse that have been subject, in Amsterdam, between the years 1987 and 1991, at the time aged between eight and 16 years. Victims have only referenced the name of an American citizen in 1997, who was found to reside in Portugal.

Following the arrest of this individual, the son of the suspect revealed to the authorities that he had been a victim and collaborated with the police in identifying other elements that were part of the network. This will have been the fundamental track that led to the arrest of three other Americans.

The suspects are currently being held in the Netherlands, where they should be judged, since the alleged acts took place in Amsterdam. Detainees, holders of Dutch and American passports are computer experts. Despite this information, the Dutch Police made no reference to the possible seizure of pornographic material.

It is recalled that, in early July, the Spanish authorities have arrested 42 people suspected of being part of a child pornography distribution network over the internet. According to the Civil Guard of Navarre, Portugal was one of the photographs of recipient countries minors held in Spain.

The report of a 17 year old was behind the operation, which began after the detection of 27 photographic archives managed by a group of users in Spain and Andorra, which was part of an international network.

REFERENCES TO AMERICANS IN CASA PIA

Carlos Silvino, principal accused of paedophilia process of Casa Pia, revealed at trial that in the 60s and 70s, the institution youngsters were brought to the United States, to “shoot and sex.”

In the 11th hearing, ‘Bibi’ identified an American as one of the foreign nationals who used to recruit kids at Casa Pia for sex: Ken Rogers, known as “the American friend” to help young casapianos.

“I gave them bath and gifts, kissed them. He did what he wanted, “advanced to the CM, in the edition of December 8, 2002, Father Antonio Emilio Figueiredo, 76, chaplain of the institution, who made complaint to the authorities. The case in Juvenile Court was filed and the priest away from the Casa Pia in 1971.

SIS IDENTIFIED THREE INTERNATIONAL GROUPS

The Portuguese Information and Security Service (SIS) identified in 2000, three international paedophile networks to act in our country: one led by a French computer engineer and two British citizens. According to the SIS, the networks operating in the south bank of the Tagus, namely in Costa de Caparica. [This is basically just south of Lisbon, obviously on the coast. “Costa da Caparica is a Portuguese civil parish, located in the municipality of Almada along the western coast of the district of Sétubal. The population in 2011 was 13,418, in an area of 10.18 km².”]

Some of the key members attending the Eduardo VII Park and also counted on the collaboration of Portuguese citizens. These organizations are dedicated to the sexual exploitation of minors, which they enticed to sexual practices with a view to making films and pornographic photos. The SIS concluded that Portugal was one of Europe’s most popular destinations for paedophiles, but is not found on the main route of paedophilia.

NOTES

PRISONERS IN PORTUGAL

About 209 paedophiles were in August last year, serving prison sentences in Portugal. The ages of those convicted of sexual abuse vary between 35 and 64 years. They were sentenced to between four and nine years in jail.

ARRESTS INCREASE

The abusers of arrests carried out by the Judicial Police have increased since the release of the Casa Pia paedophile scandal. In 2003, 93 individuals were arrested and, in 2004, PJ arrested 103 suspects. In 2005 it was opened 400 investigations and arrested more than 120 people. Most catches occurred in the metropolitan area of Lisbon.

[This is a fairly long post with a lot of information for you to digest, so I shall stop here and chew over the facts at a future date.]

Madeleine – Luz tour #4

Luz tour #4 is now undergoing preparation. This one is going to be quite challenging, but I like challenges, so it also means it should be particularly interesting.

It is scheduled for a tad later in the season, at a time when Portugal can be dry and sunny, or the heavens can be falling out of the sky. So I need two Luz tours #4, one for the dry, one for the wet.

The dry one is quite straightforward, assuming I can depend on a pair of solid walking shoes. The number of places around here related to the Madeleine McCann case that take a bit of walking is enough to fill a week of anyone’s life.

The wet one is the challenge. At the moment, I think I have got that one cracked. But it is one of those situations where I need to sleep on it. In the morning, I will either reject my idea as one of the dumbest things going, or I will think I have beaten this challenge perfectly. I have had so many adventures in Portugal in the rain.

It will hinge on whether this year is an El Niño (which we got last winter, and boy was it wet) or a La Niña, which gives us good autumns.

Here’s a photo of an interesting place that turns up regularly as the most searched for topic on my blog – the Barragem da Bravura. This is reputed to be a good day out, at least when the weather is dry.

Barragem da Bravura

Notice the length of the shoreline, and the roughness of the terrain. This is approximately where the hunt for Madeleine McCann ground to a close when the physical search stopped in May 2007.