Rogue Maddie cop enjoyed 3-hour-long boozy lunches

Rogue Maddie cop enjoyed 3-hour-long boozy lunches
3 October 2007
Evening Herald

The sacked Portuguese detective who had been leading the Madeleine McCann case had gained a reputation for his long, liquid lunches while the world waits for a breakthrough in the case.

Chief Inspector Goncalo Amaral had regularly spent hours enjoying boozy lunches despite being openly criticised for failing to spend more time on the case.

The outrage at his behaviour escalated earlier this week after it emerged that he had spent just four-and-a-half hours a day on the case while up to 250 potential leads remain to be checked out.

Amaral, who is in charge of a squad of 30 detectives, is thought to have convinced himself that the missing child is dead, despite having no evidence to back up his theory.

Instead of concentrating on the case he has repeatedly been seen puffing on cigarettes and knocking back beers at hours long boozy lunches.

Last Wednesday when the eyes of the world were on an apparent sighting in Morocco, Amaral enjoyed a two hour ten minute lunch washed down with wine at his favourite fish restaurant. The next day was a similar tale -- lunch lasted two-and-a-half hours. And on Friday he was gone for more than three hours.


As far back as June, Portuguese police were forced to defend their reputation amid allegations that they were enjoying boozy lunches while the search for Madeleine continued.

Senior police officers involved in the Madeleine McCann investigation were seen laughing and joking as images of the missing four-year-old and her desperate parents appeared on a restaurant TV screen.

It happened at a lunch lasting nearly two hours as Kate and Gerry McCann were away campaigning in Europe. They laughed and cracked jokes as they enjoyed a meal washed down with wine and whisky -- as footage of the couple played in the background.

Afterwards, they left a table littered with empty glasses -- and went back to work.

Since the return from Portugal of Kate and Gerry McCann and most of the media covering the case, many in Amaral's squad have also had their feet up, their main role seemingly to provide drinking companions for their boss.


The McCanns, who continue to cling to the hope that Madeleine is alive are said to be appalled that the inquiry -- supposedly still running at full-steam -- has effectively stopped amid a welter of boozy lunch breaks.

A source close to the family said: "It is devastating for them to know leads are not being chased up.

"They always feared that once they left Portugal, the inquiry would peter out."

Despite his previous media silence, Mr Amaral has been a controversial figure during the search for Madeleine.

Last month it emerged he is one of five men charged over an alleged attack on the mother of another missing girl.


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