Friday, 16 October 2009

Daily Star story

On 14 August 2008 the Daily Star published a report which stated that Halligen's secret operation on behalf of the McCanns now included “retured... MI5 agents”.

Secret A-Team in hunt for Maddie
By Jerry Lawton
14th August 2008

Desperate Kate and Gerry McCann have forked out £500,000 on an “A-Team” of former top spooks to find missing daughter Madeleine.

The couple now have “a global operation” of dozens of retired FBI, CIA and even MI5 agents dedicated to solving the mystery of her disappearance. The top secret team has been given six months to solve the riddle.

Doctors Kate and Gerry, both 40, have vowed to keep up the search for five-year-old Madeleine after the latest sighting at a Belgian bank was ruled out. And the couple, from Rothley, Leics, have been reassured their new team of private eyes will follow up every lead around the world.

Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “There is a global operation working for Kate and Gerry. They are internationally-based with components in Britain, America, Europe and other countries where sightings have been made.”

The new team, appointed three months ago, is half way through a six-month contract.

Mr Mitchell explained: “A sum of £500,000 has been committed to them from the Find Madeleine Fund. “They have been on board for a few months and are on a six-month contract. For security reasons we can’t go into detail of the experts involved but it would not be wrong to say some are former military and police personnel with a degree of expertise.”

Last night Mr Mitchell revealed there had been several more sightings of Madeleine in Belgium on top of 30 reported in the past week. He said: “A number of these sightings have been well-meaning and have been looked at but ruled out. Kate and Gerry are not getting excited or upset by the reported sightings.”

A family source added: “Unfortunately, with all the publicity, there have been some copycat sightings which police are not taking at all seriously.”

The couple’s Spanish-based detective agency Metodo 3 are still working on an £8,000-a-month retainer. They are being kept on because of their local knowledge and contacts. Mr Mitchell explained: “Spain, Portugal and North Africa still remain the most likely places where Madeleine could be. However, with recent sightings in Amsterdam and Brussels, we have the power to have investigators out on the ground immediately.”

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Daily Mail story

On 13 August 2008 the Daily Mail published a report which referred to Halligen’s success in selling himself to the McCann’s but avoided his name. In typical; Halligen style, it was portrayed as a ‘team of crack US detective’ and exployed ‘ex-FBI, CIA and US special forces’.

McCanns hire crack team of ex-FBI agents to find Madeleine
Last updated at 12:25 PM on 13th August 2008

Kate and Gerry McCann have hired a team of crack US detectives to lead the hunt for their missing daughter Madeleine, it has emerged. The unnamed US firm is said to have been offered a £500,000 six-month contract by the Find Madeleine Fun to help spearhead the search.

A friend of the McCanns said: ‘The hunt for Madeleine is becoming more and more international and it was felt that a truly international firm was now needed to lead the inquiry. These really are the big boys. They are absolutely the best, but they are extremely secretive and cloak-and-dagger about what they do. Since their appointment, Metodo has very much taken a back seat and they are now concentrating primarily in Portugal and Spain and across the Straits of Gibraltar into north Africa, where they have their main contacts. The American agency is pretty much handling everything else.’

The secretive firm is said to employ ex-FBI, CIA and US special forces, according to the Daily Mirror.

The McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell, said: ‘Kate and Gerry made it clear from the outset they would leave no stone unturned in finding Madeleine and that means employing the very best people in any given field. It is correct that an international firm of investigators have been appointed. But I am unable to say anything at all about them because of the covert nature of their work and the need for secrecy, not only in looking for Madeleine, but also in relation to previous operations.’

The McCanns now have detectives working around the world at a reported cost of £166,000 a month.

Among the possible sightings they are following up, apparently ignored by Portuguese police, is one by a British yachtsman on the Caribbean island of Margarita last May. The appointment of the USfirm comes after it was revealed that a suspected sighting of Madeleine in Brussels was ruled out by police. A blonde girl had been seen with a woman in a hijab at the KBC bank in the Belgium capital and the McCanns had been treating the sighting as a priority. However their hopes were dashed when a man came forward and confirmed that the girl was his daughter out with her nanny.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Shirin Trachiotis

Dr Shirin H Trachiotis (former wife of Gregory D. Trachiotis - pictured) was identified by Mark Hollingsworth in his investigation as one of Halligen’s girlfriends and it was alleged that some of the McCann money was paid into her account.

Dr Trachiotis is a Washington DC-based ‘emergency medicine physician’ at Sibley Memorial Hospital.

She graduated in 1995 from George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

An unclassified paper prepared by Sigma Systems Research in September 2002 noted that Dr Trachiotis “served as a consultant on the project. She is a member of National Board of Medical Examiners, PALS, ACLS certified. She is an attending physician with the emergency medicine group at the Holy Cross Hospital (Silver Spring, MD).”

On 13 October 2005 the Washington Post recorded that 198 River Park Drive by Gregory D. and Shirin H. Trachiotis to Chad and Jennifer Fredrick for $1.175 million.

Gregory D. Trachiotis appeared to be her then husband. He is an Associate Professor of Surgery at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. In July 2007 it was reported that “Gregory D. Trachiotis (cardiothoracic surgery) was named professor of surgery and chief of cardiac surgery at the Washington, DC, Veterans Affairs Medical Center and chief of thoracic surgery at the George Washington Medical Center. He has been on staff at both centers since 1998.” He is the son of Florine Dezzani Trachiotis and Dean Trachiotis - active members of the St Basil Greek Orthodox Church in Stockton, California.

The Beeches

Halligen's last known address was:

The Beeches
Henley Park
Cobbett Hill Road
Surrey GU3 2BZ

Since August 1999, Julia Lynne POWELL has lived at this address.

Powell is believed to be one of - or former - Halligen's girlfriend.

The property was refurbished and split into four dwellings in 1999 and two of the four are currently being advertised for rent - at £1,895 pcm.

John Unger

In June and July 2007 Halligen donated $1,000 to John Unger. On the latter occasion Halligen described himself as ‘Patton Boggs LLP/Attorney’.

John R. Unger, II is a Democrat representing the 16th District in the West Virginia Senate. Unger had filed pre-candidacy papers to oppose Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, the Republican incumbent for West Virginia’s 2nd congressional district, but ultimately decided not to run.

“West Virginia State Senator John Unger is running for Congress because he has committed his life to serving others and has the experience needed to create opportunities for the people of West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. Unger was first elected to the West Virginia Senate in 1998 at the age of 28 and is currently serving his third term. John Unger was born and raised in the district, growing up in Martinsburg and has dedicated his life to serving and empowering people in his community, his state, and around the world. Unger volunteered with Mother Teresa in India, provided relief for refugees in Hong Kong and Turkey, and worked with Save the Children International in Iraq.”

DSB Special Batteries

Before re-inventing himself as a secret agent Halligen worked at DSB Special Batteries Ltd in Crawley and once wrote about the problems of rechargeable batteries:

Possible sighting

There has been unconfirmed report that Halligen is still in the UK and that he is still driving a Range Rover.