Madeleine – Sergey Malinka’s Audi A4

An Audi A4 for someone of Sergey Malinka’s age in March 2008 seems quite an expensive and impressive car, so I did a bit of digging.

Mr Malinka’s car got fire-bombed in March 2008, whilst parked on Rua 25 de Abril, quite near to the apartment occupied by his parents and himself. The word Fala – Talk – was spray-painted on the pavement beside the wreck. As far as I know, no one has ever been brought to justice for this act.

I am looking at cars appearing in the history of Luz. The McCanns’ Renault Scenic was first-up, then I turned my attention to Sergey’s Audi A4. Cars in Portugal are extremely expensive, due to a scandalously high import tax. So I wondered how Mr Malinka could afford an A4, which got me thinking about how old Mr Malinka’s car was (they run forever in Portugal).

Fortunately, Mr Malinka’s A4 is in the PJ Files, and even better it appears in the dog-search videos. Here is (was) 10 91 FP. Portuguese licence plates now have a strip down the right hand side with the year and month of registration. The Audi does not have this, so it must pre-date this requirement. That means I have to work via the logo on the boot and the tail-light clusters.

From Sergey’s Audi A4 in the dog search.

There is a fairly distinctive boot shape. The tail light clusters have white reversing lights at the bottom centre. Thanks to all the petrol-heads in the world, I can date this shape from 1992 through to 1997.

After that, the rear end got a makeover. Here is a 1998 model.

This means Mr Malinka’s car was between 11 to 16 years old when it got torched. This may seem venerable, but as I have explained import taxes in Portugal are prohibitive, and because of this cars retain a much higher proportion of their purchase price than they do in the UK.

So the intriguing question remains as to how Sergey Malinka was able to afford an Audi A4 at his age.


8 thoughts on “Madeleine – Sergey Malinka’s Audi A4

  1. Good, we’re back on track. This car bombing is related to Maddie somehow. I look forward to reading more about your findings. The path the Smithman took leads directly to this

  2. I am of the opinion, based on the statements of Martin Smith and Aoife Smith, that this is not the route taken by Smithman. If it were, Aoife should have seen something quite, quite different to that which she reported.

    One potential link though, is somebody getting things wrong and thinking this was the route taken by Smithman. Given that it lead to Sergey’s home, (his parents flat), and that Sergey was linked to Robert Murat by a late night phone call.

    This might lead say, an unscrupulous PI to add 2 + 2 and get 22, and decide to take action. I cannot say it happened like this, obviously.

    There is a press report that suggests an alternative, namely that there had been 2 previous fire-bombings in Luz, one of which involved a van belonging to Sergey. I believe this was at a time when scurrilous rumours about Mr Malinka were doing the rounds, so although I have not ascertained the facts, I place little stock in this ‘flame-wars’ angle.

  3. One shouldn’t think that xenophobism doesn’t exist in Portugal. It does. It could be related to the fact that this country had a tendency, even after April 25, to turn itself dependent on others : things were better elsewhere. “Why should we grow wheat, if The US sell it to us for an inferior price” (I’m not inventing, I heard that before Portugal entered the EU).
    I’ve a feeling somebody took advantage of the MC case and a vague suspicion on SM to get a personal revenge.

  4. When did Malinka buy the car? Could he have purchased it second hand when it was at least 10 years old with 100k+ km on the clock? If so would he have perhaps been able to afford it then? How much does a 10 year old+ Audi cost to buy in Portugal anyway? Perhaps you could investigate the answers to all these intriguing questions and report back. Yours in anticipation.

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