Madeleine – Luz 2007 Yellow Pages

One assumes that in analysing the phone traffic in Luz in 2-4 May 2007, Operation Grange has built in both a 2007 White Pages directory and a 2007 Yellow Pages for Portugal. Without these, you have a mass of phone traffic that is meaningless.

A 2015 White Pages for Portugal, in English, is at

A 2015 Yellow Pages for Portugal, in English, is at If you try this with number 282789231 you will find the result given is Baptista supermarket, located just down the road from apartment 5A.

Of course, these are 2015 versions, not 2007 versions, but that is the least of the difficulties. A request to the respective operators may well be enough to get historic versions. contains the calls made to the GNR on 3 May 2007, and this is the proof that the first call to the GNR was made at 22:41:29, with a second at 22:52:39.

The GNR number is 282762809. If you try the White Pages link above and the Yellow Pages link above, you’ll see that neither finds this number.

If you Google 282762809 GNR, you get and this confirms that the GNR station in Lagos was on 282762809, on a page dated 19 Nov 2006. If you Google GNR Lagos, you can see that the phone number in 2015 is the same as the phone number in 2007.

So the White and Yellow Page links are not finding a valid and valuable phone number.

Let’s turn to the Ocean Club. Page_3051.jpg makes this 2827710. That is not a valid number as it should be 9 digits long. Fortunately, the preamble to the document says this is a system with up to 100 extensions, and the base number is 282771000.

Type that into Yellow Pages and you get Greentrust, SA, Rua Direita 44, Praia da Luz. You now need to know that Greentrust is the company in Portugal running the Ocean Club (i.e. that Mark Warner operated via Greentrust) or that Rua Direita 44 is the address of the Ocean Club 24hr reception.

If you try any of the extension numbers, Yellow Pages fails to find them.

So working in reverse, going from phone number to understanding what is happening is far from easy. You need a fair understanding of how the phone system of Portugal is organised before you can make sense of anything.

Go back to the Ocean Club calls. The call preceding the 2 GNR calls was at 21:21:55, to number 962414590, and the call following the GNR calls was at 22:59:11, to the same number. What, if anything, can be found out about this number?

Portuguese codes are explained at

Landlines in Portugal all start with 2. Lisbon is 21, Porto is 22, 282 is one of 3 area codes used for the Algarve, and is the entire Western end around Portimão, with the next along being Faro.

Mobiles start with a 1, a 6 or a 9. 96 is a mobile.

962414590 does not turn up in current White or Yellow pages. Nor does the mobile which follows. Given that 8.5 years have gone by, and taking into consideration the lifetime of a mobile, this is not surprising. This article, dated 4 Oct 2013, states that Operation Grange was working its way through the mobile phone records of everyone in Luz at the time of the incident.

The report contains a number of errors. However, DCI Andy Redwood is noted as saying that pay as you go mobiles are a particular problem.

Whether the report is accurate in stating that letters of request have been sent to 31 countries in this respect, and whether that is about specific people or a general request for phone information illustrates a further problem.

The challenge is not only about understanding Portugal’s telephone system. It is about understanding the phone system of every country dialling in to Luz or being dialled from Luz in the period 2-4 May.

The particular mobile phone number in question, 962414590 can probably be worked out from the statements of receptionist Helder Luis and Head of Accommodation Vitor Santos.

The gist of Helder Luis´ statement is that he phoned the GNR around 9:30pm. Then John Hill and Gerry McCann arrived and he phoned the GNR again. After the second call, he phoned Vitor Santos and informed him what was happening.

The gist of Vitor Santos’ statement is that he was called by Helder Luis around 22:00/22:15, saying there was a missing girl, that John Hill was agitated, that the GNR had been called more than once but had not arrived. Vitor then took 10 or 15 minutes to get from his home in Lagos to 24hr reception. The GNR had arrived and were taking a statement from Gerry McCann.

The phone records show clearly that a call was made to the GNR station in Lagos at 22:41 and again at 22:52, so both men’s estimates of timing are clearly out. Helder Luis made his statement on Wednesday, 9 May 2007. Vitor Santos made his statement on Monday, 7 May 2007.

It is hardly surprising that their times are in error. However, it is the sequence that is important, and that is agreed by both men. Calls to the GNR, followed by a call to Vitor Santos, followed by Vitor turning up at 24hr reception, to find the GNR talking to Gerry.

The call to Vitor Santos had to be made after the second call to the GNR but quickly enough to permit Vitor to get to reception while Gerry and the GNR were still there. The 22:59 call to 962414590 fits the puzzle, so it was probably Vitor’s mobile number in those days.

ETA My thanks to a poster on the Miscarriage of Justice forum, who has been kind enough to point me at the relevant evidence to clarify this call. Suffice it to say that the 22:59 call is almost certainly NOT one to Vitor Santos. This revelation leads to two other puzzles, but I need time to try to work out how the pieces fit now.

Returning to the Ocean Club calls, there was a call made at 18:54 to landline 289580440. 289 is the area code for Faro. The phone number is not found by either the White pages link above or the Yellow pages link above. However a Google search turns up Via Directa-Agência de Viagens e Turismo Lda in Albufeira, so clearly these White Pages and Yellow Pages are not as good as they claim.

I cannot think of an easy way of making up a White Pages for Luz, whether historic or not. Personal mobile phone numbers tend not to be advertised.

The question is whether a 2007 Yellow Pages for Luz can be constructed, and if so, does it offer anything that Operation Grange does not already have?

Let me return to the Baptista example. Once it is recognised that the Baptista number (there are actually two phone numbers) is for a supermarket, a lot of things fall into place. It is unlikely that any call into or out of Baptista is associated with some devious goings on. The calls are likely to be re orders, deliveries, calls to/from staff etc. It would be interesting to know if Operation Grange is aware that Baptista does home delivery and customer orders by phone.

This understanding of the establishments of Luz in 2007, what their phone traffic would have been is intriguing me.

Is Operation Grange struggling with PAYG mobiles and foreign phones, or is it more than that?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.