The crime inquiry is related with events from several months ago, when detectives from Metodo 3 paid an undisclosed amount of money to the former inmate, who claimed to have important information about Joana and Madeleine McCann. The source of this information was João Cipriano, the uncle of Joana, jailed for 16 years, like his sister, Joana's mother, for the murder of the child, whose body never appeared.
When both men where on jail, João Cipriano allegedly told the other man he had recent pictures of Joana, who disappeared four years ago, from a small village also in Algarve. But he never gave Metodo 3 detectives any pictures or the details concerning Madeleine McCann.
Later, the former inmate complained to PJ, accusing the detectives of harassment and alleged murder attempt, claiming the private investigators tried to run over him with a car.
After Madeleine disappeared, many reports from British Media connected the two cases, sometimes quoting relatives from Cipriano family, or former police experts like Mark William-Thomas, who told Sky News that “the answer to the case may lie in the disappearance of an eight-year-old Portuguese girl in 2004. ” The Sun interviewed Leonor Cipriano's husband who said he was “worried Kate will be framed for a crime she did not commit, the way it happened to my wife.”
Goncalo Amaral was also in charge of the investigation and has been accused of concealing evidence that the mother Joana Cipriano, was beaten by PJ officers, to make her confess the crime. British newspapers were quick to compare both situations, and the Daily Mail even wrote that Amaral was “set to face trial for torturing the mother of another missing girl.”
This is not the first time detectives from Metodo 3 have troubles with police. On February, Antonio J.R. was arrested and accused of being implicated in the theft of 400 kg of cocaine, when he was inspector in Barcelona's police force. Another Metodo 3 detective has paid witnesses in Morocco, in exchange of statements from them saying they have seen Madeleine McCann in that country.