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They arrest the alleged mastermind of the murders of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira in the Brazilian Amazon

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The suspect has denied the accusation against him and claims that he only had a “commercial relationship” with fishermen from the Atalaya del North.

The Federal Police (PF) of Brazil in the state of Amazonas has arrested a man, identified as Rubens Villar Coelho, as the alleged mastermind of the murders of indigenista Bruno Pereiro and British journalist Dom Phillips, which occurred in that country on June 5.

The superintendent of the PF in Amazonas, Alexandre Fontes, informed this Friday at a press conference that the suspect has denied his participation in the murders and assures that he only had a “commercial relationship” with fishermen from the Atalaya del Norte region, where Pereira and Phillips were murdered, reports local media G1.

The police chief explained that Villar Coelho, who has Peruvian and Brazilian nationality, arrived on Thursday on his own at the Federal Police headquarters in Tabatinga to testify about the case in which he was going to be interrogated.

“He vehemently denies any involvement in the crime,” Fontes said, noting that the suspect ended up arrested for presenting false documents, one from Brazil and the other from Colombia, a crime for which he could be sentenced to four years in prison.

The PF believes that Villar would be a drug trafficker who buys illegal fish to launder drug capital. For this reason, the Police tries to prevent the suspect from obtaining the benefit of bail, since, at the moment, he is detained for the case of false documentation.

According to the police authorities, Villar would have connections with illegal fishing in the Javari Valley, area in which e he indigenista Pereira was carrying out a work of denunciation that would have annoyed the criminal mafias.

PF sources told G1 that the detainees identified as Jeferson da Silva Lima and the brothers Amarildo and Oseney da Costa de Oliveira, who confessed to the crime, along with the five accused of hiding the bodies, would be employees of Villar, who would be the head of the criminal group that operates in the Javari Valley.

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