Identity checks on Nantes ‘murder suspect’

Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes Image copyright AFP
Image caption Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes is suspected of murdering his wife and four children

Checks are being carried out to confirm the identity of a Frenchman arrested at Glasgow Airport on suspicion of killing his wife and children.

It follows reports from AFP news agency that Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes was arrested after arriving from Paris.

Mr Dupont de Ligonnes is wanted in France for the murder of five people in Nantes in 2011.

Police Scotland confirmed that a man was in custody in connection with a European Arrest Warrant.

AFP said the 58-year-old was reportedly travelling under a false name when his flight arrived in Glasgow from Paris.

‘Remains in custody’

They quote the French state prosecutor in Nantes, who said identity checks – including fingerprint and DNA tests – were being carried out to establish if the arrested man was in fact Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes.

“Investigators are going to Scotland to carry out the checks and the investigating magistrate is waiting for the results,” prosecutor Pierre Sennes told AFP.

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Police outside the Dupont de Ligonnes family home in Nantes, western France in 2011

In a statement, Police Scotland said: “On Friday, 11 October 2019, a man was arrested at Glasgow Airport and remains in police custody in connection with a European Arrest Warrant issued by the French Authorities.

“Inquiries are ongoing to confirm his identity and we continue to liaise with our colleagues in the relevant agencies.”

‘Nantes Slaughter’

Mr Dupont de Ligonnes is suspected of murdering his wife Agnès, 48, and his children, Arthur, 21, Thomas, 18, Anne, 16, and Benoît, 13, whose bodies, as well as those of the family’s two dogs, were discovered buried in the garden of the family house in Nantes in 2011.

The murders, known as the “Nantes slaughter”, deeply shocked France at the time.

French prosecutors previously said he killed his victims in a “methodical execution”, firing two bullets from a silenced weapon at close range into their heads, before he rolled them in lime and buried them under cement.

Mr Dupont de Ligonnes reportedly told his teenage children’s private Catholic high school that he had been transferred to a job in Australia.

And he also allegedly told friends he was a US secret agent who was being taken into a witness protection programme.

A large police operation was mounted in the Var region of southern France in January last year after witnesses reported seeing a man resembling him near a monastery.



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