Boris Johnson ‘deeply concerned’ by disappearance of British journalist Dom Phillips

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Dom Phillips went missing in the Amazon earlier this month  (via REUTERS)
Dom Phillips went missing in the Amazon earlier this month (via REUTERS)

Boris Johnson has said the Government is “deeply concerned” about the disappearance of British journalist Dom Phillips, after Theresa May urged ministers to do “everything they can” to uncover the truth about the case.

The former prime minister made the plea in the House of Commons as police arrested a second suspect in connection with the case.

Mr Phillips, 57, and Brazilian indigenous expert Bruno Pereira, 41, vanished from a remote part of the Amazon last week and are believed to have last been seen early on June 5 in the Sao Rafael community.

Oseney da Costa de Oliveira, 41, was on Wednesday arrested in connection with his disappearance. His brother Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, also known as Pelado, has also been named as a suspect and was arrested last week for allegedly carrying a firearm without a permit.

Pelado, 41, is thought to have been among a group of men who threatened the missing pair near an indigenous territory on June 4.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, Maidenhead MP Mrs May said: “My constituent Dominique Davis is the niece of Dom Phillips, the British journalist missing in Brazil, alongside the indigenous expert Bruno Pereira.

“Will my right honourable friend ensure that the Government makes this case a diplomatic priority, and that it works to do everything it can to ensure that the Brazilian authorities put the resources necessary to uncover the truth and find out what has happened to Dom and Bruno?”

Mr Johnson replied: “We are deeply concerned about what may have happened to him.

“FCDO officials are working closely now with the Brazilian authorities, the minister responsible has raised the issue repeatedly on the search and rescue effort with Brazil’s justice and public security minister.

“We have told the Brazilians that we stand ready to provide all the support that they may need.”

Earlier, the Brazilian ambassador to the UK apologised to Mr Phillips’ family after they were incorrectly told his body had been found.

According to The Guardian, the family received a call from an aide to the ambassador early on Monday saying their bodies had been discovered tied to trees in the rainforest.

However, Mr Phillips’ brother-in-law, Paul Sherwood, confirmed on Tuesday that ambassador Fred Arruda had written to the family to say the statement was incorrect.

Mr Arruda said: “We are deeply sorry the embassy passed on to the family yesterday information that did not prove correct.”

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