Update: French nationals murdered in Rio NGO

28th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 27, 2007 (AFP) - Two French men and a woman compatriot were stabbed to death Tuesday in the offices of their NGO in Rio, police said, adding that the organization's ex-treasurer was among three suspects.

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 27, 2007 (AFP) - Two French men and a woman compatriot were stabbed to death Tuesday in the offices of their NGO in Rio, police said, adding that the organization's ex-treasurer was among three suspects.

The victims were Jerome Faure, 38, and a couple, Delphine Douyere, 36, and Christian Doupes, 42, who worked at Terr'Ativa, a Franco-Brazilian non-governmental organization helping young slum dwellers.

Police suspect the crime was committed by three Brazilians, including the NGO's former treasurer, Tarsio Wilson Ramirez, 25, who the victims suspected of skimming money from Terr'Ativa.

Authorities arrested Ramirez as he left the NGO's office holding a safe, police commissioner Marcus Castro told reporters. The two other suspects were detained later.

Ramirez, whose clothes were soaked in blood, admitted recruiting two accomplices, paying them 500 dollars each, to "scare" the victims, police said.

But police said it was a premeditated crime. "They went there to kill the three NGO members to hide the embezzlement," Castro said.

The suspects entered the NGO's building with Carnival masks, four knives and surgical gloves, authorities said.

The office, near the famed Copacabana beach, was a "macabre scene" with blood splattered on the walls, police said. The office's cupboards and drawers were emptied.

The men entered the building easily because the guard recognized one of them, police said.

The assailants first found Faure alone in the NGO's office and tied him to a bed, apparently in a bid to extricate from him compromising documents against Ramirez.

Douyere and Doupes arrived later from their apartment, located in the same building, where they had left their two-year-old son Max with a nanny. A scuffle probably ensued when they entered the office, police said.

Terr'Ativa's accountant told police that Douyere, the NGO's founder and general director, had asked him last year to review the books as she had raised suspicions about Ramirez.

Police said Ramirez admitted embezzling about 38,000 dollars.

In Paris, the French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy, expressed his "profound emotion" at the deaths of three "compatriots" in Rio.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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