Ross Hall In Spain
1 July 2007
The News of the World

Maddie monsters face justice over evil plot

THE evil couple accused of plotting to swindle the huge Madeleine McCann reward are led off to face justice yesterday.

Grey Danilo Chemello, 61, looked scruffy in a green polo shirt and grubby white shorts as he was escorted from a Spanish police station.

Aurora Vaz, 54, his girlfriend of ten years, skulked in the back of a car as she was driven to a nearby court.

The couple were seized on Thursday at their swanky rented villa in Sotogrande after police got a tip they were plotting to claim the Pounds 2.5million reward-including Pounds 1.5million from the News of the World-despite knowing nothing about Maddie's disappearance.

Today we can reveal the extent of the couple's criminal past.

Chemello and Vaz were jailed for five years in Italy in 2001 after her ex husband Alberto Tana was shot four times in the knee from point-blank range.

The couple were said to have planted drugs and a gun in Tana's car while he was locked in a bitter battle with Vaz over custody of their daughter.

Chemello and Vaz were later cleared of the shooting but convicted of perverting the course of justice.

The couple have also been investigated for alleged child-trafficking.

Chemello, an Italian construction millionaire, was yesterday being taken from Algeciras, southern Spain, to Madrid where he is expected to be extradited to France.

Authorities there want him for allegedly blackmailing a judge who jailed him and Portuguese Vaz for the horrifying abuse of their five-year-old daughter when they lived in the French Riviera. But sources say it could take weeks before a decision is made about charging the couple.

Yesterday the Spanish Interior Ministry said: "Police investigated them to establish if they have tried to contact Madeleine's parents in order to claim the reward on offer.

"The facts point to them being fraudsters, although the police investigation is not closed."

Maddie has now been missing for 59 days since being snatched from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

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