Fugitive convicted of Peter Blake killing re-captured after 16 years

The man was convicted over killing the sailor, but escaped prison in 2002 and had been a fugitive since then 

Sir Peter Blake was known as the world's greatest sailor
Sir Peter Blake was known as the world's greatest sailor

 A man convicted in the killing of yachtsman Sir Peter Blake has been caught in Brazil after being on the run for more than 15 years, police said on Thursday.

José Irandir Cardoso was one of six convicted over killing of leading sailor in Brazil in 2001. He escaped prison in 2002 and has been a fugitive since then.

He was captured by police during a routine stop-and-search in the town of Breves, on the island of Marajó at the mouth of the Amazon river, in the Amazon state of Pará.

Police discovered Cardoso's true identity after running his fingerprints through their database.

Brazilian military police with José Irandir Cardoso – the man convicted over the death of yachtsman Sir Peter Blake. (Photo: The Guardian)
Brazilian military police with José Irandir Cardoso – the man convicted over the death of yachtsman Sir Peter Blake. (Photo: The Guardian)

 “He has been on the run since then, and now he is in jail in Breves at the disposition of the authorities,” Walrimar Santos, a police spokesman, told the Guardian. Irandir Cardoso was using his brother’s identity card, Santos added.

Blake, who at the time was known as the world’s greatest sailor, was shot and killed by pirates in a night time robbery on his boat moored in Macapá, the capital of the neighbouring state of Amapá.

He was on a boat monitoring pollution in the Amazon as a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. when his boat was attacked.

He had won the world’s main bluewater races, including the Americas cup, and was touring ecologically important areas to raise awareness of the environment.

Irandir Cardoso was one of the gang of six sentenced for the killing in 2002. It was not clear how he had managed to escape from prison.

Blake, who was born in Auckland, New Zealand, was 53 at the time of his death.

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