Body found in charred car in Rio de Janeiro believed to be missing Greek ambassador – report

Body found in charred car in Rio de Janeiro believed to be missing Greek ambassador – report
Brazilian police believe a body found inside a burned-out car in Rio de Janeiro is that of Greek Ambassador Kyriakos Amiridis, according to Globo News. The ambassador went missing on Monday evening.

The car's license plates match those of Amiridis' rental vehicle, according to Globo, which showed pictures of the charred car underneath an overpass in the Nova Iguacu neighborhood where Amiridis went missing.

The 59-year-old ambassador was last seen on Monday evening, after leaving the home of his Brazilian wife's friends in the poor and violent Rio suburb, police said on Thursday.

He was reported missing by his wife on Wednesday, according to a state police official cited by Reuters.

Rio police inspector Evaristo Pontes told Folha de S. Paulo newspaper earlier this week that he did not believe the ambassador had been kidnapped, as no ransom had been sought.

"We're following some leads, but not that one. If it had been (a kidnapping), those who took him would have made contact by now," he said.

An official at the Greek embassy did not confirm the ambassador was missing, saying only that he was on vacation in Rio and was expected to return to Brasilia on January 9.

The Brazilian Foreign Ministry has also declined to comment on the case, stating only that it is being investigated by police. Greece's Foreign Ministry also had no comment.

Iguacu assumed his post in Brasilia earlier this year, having previously served as Greece's consul-general in Rio from 2001 to 2004. He also served as Greece's ambassador to Libya from 2012 to 2016.

Rio suffers from a high crime rate, and violent crime is not uncommon. Rio state registered 4,572 homicides through the end of November 2016, representing a 19.7 percent increase from 2015, according to the Public Security Institute.