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The McCanns Private Detectives

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Post by Verdi 06.12.22 13:00

And this is Ms McCann née Healy's version of the truth..

Our first investigators, the Spanish company Método 3, began working for us in October. With private investigations technically illegal in Portugal, we felt the closest we could get would be a firm from somewhere on the Iberian Peninsula, which would have the advantage of familiarity with local systems, culture and geography and the best network of contacts in the region. M3 also had links to the Spanish police, who, in turn, had good connections with the Portuguese police.

We assembled all the source material we could for the investigators, passing on my detailed chronology of events and the research we were compiling, making endless lists of potential witnesses – some of whom we knew the police had interviewed, many more we suspected they had not – and reported sightings of little girls who could have been Madeleine. As a result of the huge publicity the case had been given, the police and press had been overwhelmed by such reports from the outset. Sometimes ‘Madeleine’ has been seen in different countries, thousands of miles apart, on the same day. These tip-offs needed to be sifted and any credible information followed up.

We have no doubt that M3 made significant strides, but unfortunately, in mid-December, one of their senior investigators gave an overly optimistic interview to the media. He implied that the team were close to finding Madeleine and declared that he hoped she would be home by Christmas. Gerry and I did not pay much heed to these bullish assertions. While we believed they’d been made in an attempt to cast the search in a positive light, we knew that such public declarations would not be helpful. Credibility is so important. That glitch apart, M3 worked very hard for us and, just for the record, their fees were very low: most of the money they were paid was for verified expenses. Although we went on to employ new teams, we maintain good relations with M3 today. We had the sense that they genuinely cared about Madeleine’s fate, something that, sadly, we have found we cannot take for granted.

We had one particularly bad experience with a man named Kevin Halligen (or Richard, as we knew him). Halligen was the CEO of a private-investigation firm called Oakley International which was hired by Madeleine’s Fund for six months from the end of March 2008. Oakley’s proposal and overall strategy were streets ahead of all the others we’d considered and the company came highly recommended. As the sums of money involved were pretty hefty, we agreed that our contract with them would be split into three phases with a break clause at the end of each phase. This gave us an opportunity to terminate the contract at any of these points if we wished to do so without incurring financial penalties. An independent consultant was also employed by the fund to liaise with Oakley and oversee the work they were doing.

The first and second phases of the contract ran fairly smoothly. Oakley had put in place systems to gather, collate, prioritize and follow up the information coming in as a result of appeals Gerry and I made around the first anniversary of Madeleine’s abduction. There is little doubt that at that stage progress was being made.

During the third phase, however, we began to have concerns. Feedback appeared to be less forthcoming and contact with certain members of the Oakley team dropped off. At first we couldn’t be sure whether this was a manifestation of the inevitable waning motivation I’ve mentioned or of a more troubling problem. Rumours about Halligen prompted us to make inquiries before we decided whether or not we should extend our contract with Oakley. To cut a long story short, we chose not to do so. The termination of the contract, in September 2008, was quite acrimonious, and unfortunately, that was not the end of it.

Several months later, one of the investigators subcontracted by Oakley contacted us to demand payment for his services. We had already settled Oakley’s bill for this work months before, but apparently the company had not paid him. He was not the only one. Over time several more unpaid subcontractors came to light. We were upset that, although a lot of hard work had been done on Madeleine’s behalf, it seemed money provided by her fund might not ever have reached the people who had earned it.

In November 2009 we heard that Halligen had been arrested on suspicion of fraud after a discrepancy in a hotel bill. He is currently on remand in Belmarsh prison, fighting extradition to the USA in connection with money-laundering and wire-fraud charges, all of which he denies.
For the most part, though, our experiences with independent investigators have been good. Our current tried and trusted team has more or less been in place, with a few modifications, since October 2008. It is spearheaded by a former police officer, with input from strategy advisers and specialists in various fields as required. This enables us to recruit the best-qualified people available to handle particular tasks when they arise, and it’s a system with which we have made encouraging progress.


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Post by PeterMac 06.12.22 13:56

Text of my letter to BWB nd HM

BatesWellsBraithwaite and to HaysMacIntyre
Respectively Solicitors and Accountants for the Madeleine Fund
Individual Copies sent to Rosamund McCarthy and to Philip Kirkpatrick
who it is reported were jointly concerned with setting up the Fund / Limited Company
1 March 2016

Dear Sir and Madam,
Madeleine Fund - Leaving No Stone Unturned Limited
Several years ago I wrote to you about claims by Francisco Marco - proprietor of the detective
agency, Metodo3, that they would be able to return Madeleine McCann to her parents “by
You were kind enough to reply. You denied that such a claim had been made.
I am not sure whether you were fully aware that the McCanns’ spokesman, Clarence Mitchell
had already said that the family were satisfied, saying “. . . but we are pleased the agency is
confident is that they will find Madeleine in due course.”
You will also be aware that Marco’s words are on a ‘video’ clip, available on YouTube, where
he re-states this position, - helpfully in English.
Full reference in Appendix - 1

But given that you and HaysM were concerned with the creation and running of the Fund are
we to believe that both your firms were simultaneously neglecting their duties.
As you know, in her autobiography, ‘madeleine’, Kate McCann herself admitted that these
words had been used, which gave rise to a number of questions about your and HaysM’s
level of interest, professional competence, and / or veracity.
You will be aware that a recently published book - La Cortina de Humo - by a sometime
employee of Metodo3 details several large scale frauds committed against the Madeleine
Fund, and shows how the techniques employed should have been apparent to anyone with
responsibility for ‘due diligence” and certainly to a trained and conscientious accountant.
Full reference in Appendix -2

Again this may raise important questions about professional competence.
I am confident that you will have read the book, and will have studied in depth the Chapter
devoted to the fraud, but so that anyone else reading this shall know, he details very crude
and simple methods, which should have been obvious to anyone. He says the evidence is
available to investigators, and may already be in their hands.
They include simply obtaining receipts for travel from an El Corte Inglés travel branch, and
then forging them by overwriting the relevant details, before including these in the monthly
invoices to the Fund, overseen by you.

He states that the 20 operatives - or 40 as sometimes quoted - who were being routinely
charged for consisted of at most three (3), and for most of the time, only two. He names them.
He goes on to expose the mendacious claim that Metodo3 had successfully recovered more
than 300 missing persons in a single year. He worked for this company for several years,
and was aware of only two (2) such examples. Perhaps these issues could and should have
been explored in detail before the contract was signed. Data Protection and the laws relating
to the protection of minors would not prevent outline details of many of the cases being
supplied for investigation, and Company accounts detailing a total of only twelve (12)
employees are public documents.

He publishes the e-mails he sent to the people who had been financing the operation, in
which he gives details of the fraud. He also sent these to two of the six Directors of the Fund.
He names them.
He received no reply and no acknowledgement. He interprets this, perhaps with justification,
as a ‘wall of silence’.

It is inconceivable that you and HaysM were not made aware of this, and again it raises
further questions about your involvement, and your professional competence. The possibility
of higher level collusion is of course unthinkable.

In your internet advertising you both make great play of your devotion to, and the importance
of conducting and maintaining Due Diligence - you use the term 42 times, and HaysM 35
times. You both mention Transparency (58 and 44 times respectively), and Justice (86 and
16). You go further to discuss Investigation (78) and you use the word Fraud 35 times. HaysM
use it 25 times.
It is clear therefore that both firms, at least in publicity and advertising, say they understand
the importance of vigilance against Fraud at all levels and at all times.
It may be however that on this one occasion both firms simultaneously made the identical
mistake or simultaneously failed to notice.
This would be in line with what is alleged to have happened many times during this perplexing

• The blood and cadaver detection dogs were said to have made a series of mistakes but
only in this case, when they alerted to 14 items and places linked with the McCanns -
but to no other places. The dogs’ previous and subsequent performance has never
been successfully challenged in the criminal courts
• Some of the best detectives and Police advisors from several police forces from different
countries made identical and false deductions
• Top lawyers and public prosecutors in Portugal concurrently and independently made
identical gross errors
. . . and so on. The case is full of remarkable coincidences. Many hundreds have been
recorded so far.

The revelation that £ 500,000 of publicly donated money was squandered on a fraudulent
enterprise, but worse - that no attempt was then made to recover the money, nor to take
action against the alleged fraudsters, might damage public confidence in both your firms.
You are also surely aware of the book, El Método, by the proprietor of Metodo3, Francisco
Marco, in which at p. 452, he says "Someday I'll explain if we believe that Maddie is alive or
dead, and, if she was killed, who we think did it.’
Full reference in Appendix - 3

I draw this to your attention, as, of course, if it is eventually shown that Madeleine was in fact
dead and that the parents knew or suspected this, as now seems increasingly likely, then the
entire Fund would itself have been fraudulent ab initio, and the issue of due diligence and
professional supervision will assume even greater importance, with the persons concerned
being liable to account either to Civil or Criminal Courts.

The apparent failure or neglect of due diligence in the contracting of Kevin Halligen, of Oakley
International, the Company referred to by Clarence Mitchell as "the big boys, the best there is
in international investigation", - Halligen a proven and convicted fraudster, and the Fund’s
subsequent failure to claim back the £ 0.5 m handed over to him under your joint supervision,
is now a matter of historical note, and is documented and has been discussed elsewhere at
considerable length.

Similarly the strange case of the contract awarded to two retired junior police officers, Dave
Edgar and Arthur Cowley - according to Clarence Mitchell, a team of crack detectives - and of
a company falsely named in many press reports as the impressive "Alpha Group
Investigations", - a respectable company in the USA. The company was only incorporated as
ALPHAIG, with an address in a cottage in the hills of Wales, some considerable time after
this had been said. This strange case has already been picked over and the timeline

Again the level of due diligence performed here seems - to a lay outsider - to be
questionable. It is not clear, for example, how even the most basic Company Check could
possibly have been conducted. According to the filed Company accounts it was operating on
resources of £650 cash and fixed assets of £853. This case and the alleged involvement of
your two firms has been discussed at length.
But we are left wondering whether two firms of your stature could have made three
consecutive and identical errors of professional judgement and competence, not learning
from the preceding ones, in the handling of a huge amount of donated money paid into just
one Fund, benefiting just one couple.
Yours sincerely
Peter Mac
Retired Police Superintendent

I fully appreciate that you are under no legal or moral obligation to reply to this letter, nor to
answer any of the concerns raised.
In view of that, and the huge public interest generated by this case over the past eight years,
it is intended, after a reasonable time, that this letter will be published on a web forum as an
Open Letter, with some personal details redacted.
I am confident that given your stated commitment to Transparency, Justice, and Investigation
that this is acceptable
1 YouTube
The interview with Francisco Marco, in which he says - in English -
“I know the kidnapper and we know where he is.
We know who he is and we know how he has done it . . .”
may be viewed at 1:23 on [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

2 La Cortina de Humo - 'The Smokescreen' - by Julian Peribañez and Antonio Tamarit
(August 2014, ISBN 978-84-941649-8-9)

3 El Método - ‘The Method’ - by Francisco Marco Fernández
(October 2013, ISBN 978-84-9970-943-7)
Both books are available from, Casa del Libro, and
Quotes from La Cortina de Humo. Translated by a qualified and attested translator
p. 177 - I began to realise to what extent the company was swindling the fund which had been set up
and which was supported by hundreds of unsuspecting people whose sole objective was to find
Madeleine. Nothing special, just inflated expenses, invented items and false invoices, etc.
p.178 - Francisco Marco, whenever asked, always replied that Método 3 had deployed ‘twenty
men’ to investigate Madeleine’s disappearance! That was yet another lie.
This was the tactic used by Francisco Marco to inflate Método 3’s invoices to the client
p. 182 - He [Marco] omitted to tell the journalist that his specialists were his mother and his cousin; he
must have thought there was no need to mention this. Alternatively, he may have thought
that the journalist had realised that his cousin was the chief financial officer (meaning the accountant)
of Método 3 and that his mother was just a woman who didn’t even hold a driving licence and had
been a secretary at a detective agency and who was involved in sales for the agency and not
investigative work.
p. 185 - He [Marco] presented them with false invoices for travel and accommodation expenses for the
20 people who were supposed to be working in Portugal. The procedure for accomplishing this task
was simple and straightforward and no scientific methodology was required: all they had to do was
obtain some El Corte Inglés travel invoices and subsequently falsify them by changing the details.

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Post by PeterMac 06.12.22 13:57

They responded in the usual McCann influenced way–
By threatening me with a libel suit !

But not too long after this HaysMcIntyre pulled out, and ceased to be the accountants for the "Fund" 
apparently abruptly and without leaving a final account . . .
One of the existing Trustees, himself an account took over but sadly died a short time later, leaving it all in the hands of
the remaining Trustees, – who conveniently by then included the McCanns.

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Post by Verdi 16.12.22 15:22

Julian Peribanez Update

[Google translate - I can't vouch for accuracy of translation]


An ex-Method 3 detective denies the complaint that started the piece on 'Operation Catalonia'
Julián Peribáñez, confronted with whoever owned the agency, Francisco Marco, has declared that he was injured in part 27 of the 'Villarejo case'.

October 11, 2022 16:16

Julián Peribáñez, a former Método 3 detective, declared this Tuesday as injured in the National Court in the framework of piece number 27 of the Villarejo case, related to the so-called Operation Catalonia.

In his appearance, he has denied the main points of the complaint filed by the person who was the head of the detective agency, Francisco Marco, who led to the opening of this piece.

This is confirmed to EL ESPAÑOL by sources present at the interrogation. Despite the confrontation between the two private investigators, both are listed as injured parties in this piece of the macro-cause.

In his complaint, Francisco Marco maintained that Commissioner José Manuel Villarejo launched the police operation against Method 3 —using the recording of Alicia Sánchez-Camacho and Alicia Álvarez at the La Camarga restaurant as a pretext— to appropriate their files, since this company competed with its own research agency, Cenyt.

In addition, Marco affirms that detective Julián Peribáñez stole confidential documentation from the Metodo 3 offices, which ended up in the hands of Commissioner Villarejo.

Peribáñez recalled in his statement that his former boss already accused him of taking documents from the detective agency, in separate complaints filed in the Investigating Courts numbers 22 and 32 of Barcelona, which were filed.

But, in addition, Marco had also denounced in 2013 his own ex-brother-in-law and Method 3 IT chief, Rafael Riera, of course espionage: he accused him of having installed spyware on the detective agency's network, which diverted all his emails to an external server.

On the other hand, as Peribáñez recalled in his statement, Method 3 had gone into liquidation and had fired almost all of its staff in October 2012 due to financial problems, months before the police operation against the detective agency was unleashed, carried out in February 2013.

Therefore, as he argued this Tuesday, it is unlikely that Commissioner Villarejo launched this operation to destroy the detective agency, which was already in the process of liquidation. The police operation was not directed by Villarejo, but by the then head of the Internal Affairs Unit (UAI) of the Police, Marcelino Martín Blas.

Julián Peribáñez has denounced before the judge what he considers a legal ruse by Francisco Marco to promote this cause.

Marco presented last September before the Court a recording published on August 28 by an independentist newspaper, in which another former Metodo 3 detective, Antonio Tamarit, allegedly negotiated to sell Villarejo records from the detective agency.

[Villarejo even sees spies in jail: he accuses the CNI of recruiting prisoners to sell their secrets to Puigdemont]

Earlier, last June, Marco offered an interview to TV3, in which he boasted of having said recording in his possession; that is, two months before its publication in the press. In this way, as Julián Peribáñez has exposed, the former head of Method 3 would have used the subterfuge of leaking the recording to the independence newspaper, in order to present it later as evidence without having to explain to the judge how it came into the hands of the.

To questions from the parties, Julián Peribáñez has also stated that his former partner Antonio Tamarit illegally stole several emails from his e-mail account, which Francisco Marco incorporated as evidence to the complaint that gave rise to this piece 27 of the case Villarejo.

For these facts, Peribáñez has already denounced both Tamarit and Marco, considering them the perpetrators of an alleged crime of revealing secrets, in a case that, as EL ESPAÑOL exclusively advanced, is already being investigated by the Investigating Court number 8 of Barcelona.

This Tuesday, to questions from José Manuel Villarejo's lawyer, Julián Peribáñez has indicated that Francisco Marco's new company has registered a high turnover figure in recent years, which does not correspond to the ordinary activity of a detective agency.

Peribáñez attributes it to the close friendship that Marco maintains with Cristóbal Martell, a lawyer for the Pujol family, which, in his opinion, could have instigated the complaint that led to the opening of that piece of the Villarejo case.

the Camargue

The Central Court of Instruction number 6 opened piece 27 of the Villarejo case after the complaint filed by Francisco Marco, who argued that Peribáñez was a confidant of Villarejo and that the latter benefited from the police search carried out in 2013 at the Barcelona headquarters of Method 3.

In that operation, both Marco and Peribáñez were arrested, and the addresses of each of them were searched. Those records were derived from the so-called La Camarga case.

This is the name of the restaurant in which a conversation between the then leader of the PP in Catalonia, Alicia Sánchez-Camacho, with Victoria Álvarez, the ex-partner of Jordi Pujol's eldest son, former president of Catalonia, was recorded. Method 3 was commissioned to record that talk, using a device placed in a vase between the two diners.

At said meal, Álvarez told Sánchez-Camacho details of her relationship with Jordi Pujol Ferrusola, which would have included aspects of the possible commission of money laundering crimes.

All this occurred within the framework of the so-called Operation Catalonia, the supposed parapolice device that tried to destabilize the Catalan independence movement and in which Villarejo would have participated. However, the PP policy assured that it was unaware of all these police maneuvers.

Register to Method 3

The investigation into the La Camarga case was archived by a Barcelona court, but, later, Francisco Marco filed a complaint against Villarejo in the National Court for these entries and searches, the arrests and the leaks to the media of alleged false information about that recording.

He also accused his former worker, Peribáñez, of having collaborated with the former commissioner while he worked at the agency, something that he denied this Tuesday before the judge.

In Marco's opinion, Villarejo tried, by intervening in the planning of that registry, to liquidate a business rival —the now retired commissioner also offered investigative work through his company Cenyt— and, in addition, to obtain information on the investigations carried out by Method 3; especially those linked to the Catalan independence movement.

Likewise, as the detective recounts in his book about the ex-commissioner La España inventada, Villarejo confronted, in the 90s, Marco's mother, Marita Fernández, also a private investigator.

'Operation Catalonia'

In 2017, Peribáñez appeared in the investigation commission of the Catalan Parliament on Operation Catalonia. There, he branded the commission to record the conversation between Camacho and Álvarez in La Camarga as "illegal" and revealed that it was a commission from José Zaragoza, former Secretary of Organization of the Catalan Socialists, paid for by the PSC.

In a document registered on July 28, the Prosecutor's Office asked the judge to file piece 27 of the Tándem case (nicknamed the Villarejo case). The Public Prosecutor's Office considers that the facts being investigated coincide with those of the piece called Land, another of those that make up the macro-cause and that has recently been tried, and is currently awaiting sentencing. In it, Francisco Marco also appears as injured.

[Two detectives from Method 3 declare to the judge that José Zaragoza (PSC) commissioned the recording of La Camarga]

However, magistrate Manuel García-Castellón, head of the Central Investigating Court number 6, decided to postpone this decision until he had heard the former Method 3 detective.

Peribáñez also advances that in the next few days he plans to present a brief at the National Court in which he will ask García-Castellón to deduce testimony from Francisco Marco for false denunciation and false testimony.

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