With thanks to Jo Morais for this interesting article. Just what are the odds that the two major detective agencies McCann employed to, allegedly, find Maddie would turn out to be crooks arrested by police for serious offences?
- Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns spin doctor, 13 December 2007
“The Spanish detective agency Método 3 is reportedly costing the fund 2,000 a day”
- in The Independent, 30 November 2007
“We know who kidnapped her. We believe she is in an area not very far from the Iberian peninsula and north Africa. And we have a fairly certain idea of who she is with.”
- Francisco Marco, head of Spanish detective agency Método 3, 14 December 2007
“As for the Spanish detective, the theory he comes up with is that of a crook, a crook without conditions to be taken seriously. Because he denies the first rule of criminal investigation, which is not to believe in absolute truths and he considers as an absolute truth that the little girl was abducted, he knows who the abductor was, and where she is. Well, this is false. And this is so false one realizes it's a way of making money and not of bringing us the truth.” - Francisco Moita Flores, 18 November 2007 “The Spanish detective agency hired by the McCanns to find their missing four-year-old daughter Madeleine understandably wants to prove that it is earning its hefty fees but the trickle of evidence allegedly involving Robert Murat begins to whiff of a stitch-up. To justify its monthly 70,000 euros, Método 3 needs to get results – any results at all - and appears to have selected Robert Murat as its best bet. The disappearance of Madeleine McCann was a nasty business from the beginning and now it’s getting nastier.” - in EuroWeekly News, 13 December 2007
«Police officers on Tuesday searched the Barcelona and Madrid offices of Método 3, the now-defunct private detective firm at the centre of a political spying scandal in Catalonia. Investigators, including two anti-corruption prosecutors, were seen bringing out boxes of confiscated documents from the buildings.
The agency's owner, Francisco Marco, and three other detectives at the agency were arrested on Monday. The entire case has rocked Spain's political foundations after recordings surfaced of a 2010 lunch conversation between the head of the Popular Party in Catalonia, Alicia Sánchez-Camacho, and the former girlfriend of one of the sons of the region's ex-premier.
The ex-girlfriend, Victoria Álvarez, informed Sánchez-Camacho about Jordi Pujol Ferrusola's alleged money laundering activities in Andorra. Pujol Ferrusola is a son of former regional premier Jordi Pujol Soley, who served from 1980 to 2003.
Two of the suspects, Julián Peribañez and Alex Borrequero, who are still in custody, told investigators that they recorded the conversation "on the boss's orders" at the La Camarga restaurant in Barcelona. The ruling Catalan nationalist CiU bloc has organized a special squad of investigators and court personnel to help those politicians or other citizens who feel that they may have been spied on.» Extract from El País, 19 Feb. 2013
70.000 Euros for Madeleine's search
Método 3 grew with high-profiled media cases; their enemies label it as «scam agency» and now it's going to be a consultancy agency
by C. Morcillo/P. Muñoz
Each time a new chief of police arrived to Catalonia, one of the first invitations he would receive was that of Francisco Marco: a letter to invite him to have dinner at the restaurant “La Camarga”, which has been the hub of operations [spy activities] of the detective agency Método 3, near to its headquarters. The current police chief, Eugenio Castro, politely declined the invitation, however his predecessor and some of the previous ones shared table and cloth with the influential Marco, with a degree in Law and an expert in self-promotion. One of his mottoes is “let them speak about us, whether good or bad”, says one of his former colleagues.
Marco took to practice that popularity and in recent years his agency was a reference in the media, particularly after the parents of the British girl Madeleine McCann who disappeared in Portugal hired them to search her. Their hypothesis was that a paedophile ring had kidnapped her and in pursuit of that idea, according to the same sources, they charged about 70,000 euros [close to that amount per month], with continuous trips to Portugal, Morocco and Britain.
“It was a scam. They said they had fifteen people working on the case but no, there were just three. They made up invoices for hotel expenses and allowances for four people in the neighbouring country [Portugal] and only one person travelled there, who in addition didn't speak a word of Portuguese.”
Along with Madeleine's case - of which nothing was ever found - the fame reached Método 3 with the advent of the former secret service spy Francisco Paesa, who was “found” in Paris, after being presumed dead [he had published his own obituary].
Monitoring the vice-presidents of FC Barcelona and the involvement, which has yet to be clarified, of espionage of the current president of the Community of Madrid, Ignacio Gonzalez, are also included in the curriculum of this agency in which “thousands and thousands of euro have come in and no one know where they are”, says a detective who knows Método 3 track record.
The agency was created by Marita Fernández, the mother of Francisco Marco, in 1985. She had worked has a saleswoman for an Argentinian detective when she married her husband, a criminal lawyer. Since then they have lived years of success and constant commissions - although nothing to do with the 20,000 reports that were said to be destroyed by the director of Método 3 - to the point of giving work to other agencies and individuals (they subcontracted) and then signed themselves those jobs. Their wide list of staff included an accountant, and in recent years, a former policeman heading the IT department.
Juan Carlos Ruiloba was the chief of the Technological Crime Prevention unit at the Judiciary Police of Barcelona. Shifting to a second activity, he began working for Marco where he claimed he was very well paid.
A little over a year ago, when the agency started to be less the buoyant businesses that it had been, Ruiloba left Método 3. According to sources related to the investigation, part of the money that he was owed was recovered with electronic equipment. Last week this former police officer turn to his former colleagues at the Judiciary and handed material, supposedly “sensitive”. He had waited over a year to do so.
Out of hand investigations
He was not the only police officer connected to Método 3 director. In fact, during many years it was a common practice to resort to certain professionals, such as the Forensic Science Police [Lab], in order to do specific tests, particularly when they did not have any other means at their disposal.
The agency no longer exists officially since last November, in fact its director has several pending labour disputes with former employees. However Marco, with a curriculum and voluminous list of customers, was already converting their business into a security consulting firm, outside the police control to which detective agencies are subject.
Método 3 has also been inspected - inspection in the offices of detectives are annual - however he has eluded comfortably both administrative and criminal penalties. In 1995 his father, his mother, him and a brother were arrested for illegally tapping businessmen. In that case it was revealed that they had investigated the governor of the Bank of Spain, Mariano Rubio, and his wife Carmen Posadas. The investigation was filed.
In 2011, during a routine inspection, the Police detected serious irregularities, despite the proposed sanction, which arrived to Rubalcaba's Home Office - his brother has an excellent relationship with Marita Fernández - it was also unsuccessful.
In May last year the agency number two, Elisenda Villena, was arrested during the “Pitiusa Operation”* - in which hundreds of detectives and intermediaries were charged. The agency log book - mandatory where clients and those who are investigated are recorded, as well as the dates of the jobs carried out - disappeared, because it was lost in a “flood”, Método 3, again, was not penalized.
in ABC, 20 Feb. 2013
* “Pitiusa Operation” - A Barcelona court found complaints of professional intrusion crimes, bribery, disclosure of secrets and money laundering, with the majority of those arrested being detectives and private investigators, who bribed officials to obtain and sell confidential data to third parties.
Detectives Hired by the «McCanns want to Frame Gonçalo Amaral
Método 3, the Spanish detective agency hired by the McCanns, tried to convince Leonor Cipriano's Lawyer to change the course of defense. The agency operational wanted to make of Gonçalo Amaral - the former coordinator of the PJ of Portimão, responsible for the investigation to the disappearance of Madeleine and Joana, the main target, through the intersection of the two cases.»
‘Spanish detectives asked me to arrange for evidence against Gonçalo Amaral’
« The lawyer who cooperated with Método 3 makes surprising revelations - Maddie’s parents divined their daughter’s death - Satanic societies and secret services involved in the Maddie Case - McCann detectives asked me to get proofs against Gonçalo Amaral'»
More Metodo 3 "witnesses" : Lawyer Claims Madeleine Raped, Murdered and Dumped
«Marcos Teixeira Aragão Correia, a lawyer and a PND member , says that criminals from underworld contacted him on 6th May and that gave him details about Madeleine's rape & murder. He further claims that he had given this information to police who ignored it.»
Maddie Case: Scotland Yard discredits Spanish investigation
«The investigators of Scotland Yard, who are again working in the case of Madeleine's disappearance, came to the conclusion that steps taken in recent years by the Spanish detectives hired by the McCann couple have helped very little or nothing at all towards the discovery of what happened to the girl.»