A Rio de Janeiro policeman confessed to murdering Greece’s ambassador to Brazil in what investigators on Friday called a “cowardly act” carried out at the direction of the diplomat’s Brazilian wife with whom the officer was romantically involved.

Ambassador Kyriakos Amiridis, 59, was missing since Monday night. Françoise, his Brazilian wife and the mother of their 10-year-old daughter, reported him missing to police on Wednesday.

Officer Sergio Moreira, 29, confessed to police on Friday that he killed the ambassador late Monday night in the Rio de Janeiro home the Amiridises owned in Nova Iguaçu, a hardscrabble neighborhood in the city’s sprawling, violent northern outskirts.

 Investigator Evaristo Magalhaes told reporters that Françoise, 40, and Moreira had arranged the murder a few days in advance.

Both Amiridis’ wife and the officer are in custody. Police have also detained a cousin of the officer, who Magalhaes said acted as a lookout while the crime was committed and helped carry the body from the house with the promise that he would be paid 80,000 reais ($25,000).

“This was a tragic, cowardly act, but we worked tirelessly to crack this case as soon as possible,” Magalhaes told a news conference. “It was a crime of passion.”


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