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Brazilian police investigating the disappearance of a British journalist in a remote corner of the Amazon rainforest arrested a man, it has been reported.

The man, named as 41-year-old Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, was detained in Atalaia do Norte, days after veteran journalist Dom Philips and local indigenous expert Bruno Pereira went missing.

After leaving the Ribeirinha Sao Rafael community by boat on June 5, the two failed to arrive at their destination in Atalaia do Norte around a two-hour ride away.

Local media reported that the suspect was arrested for intimidating members of a team who were searching for the missing men, but the police did not confirm this.

Brazilian authorities have released pictures of the search ( via REUTERS)

Police spokesman Alex Perez said after Tuesday’s arrest they had not yet found any evidence linking the man to the pair’s disappearance.

The suspect denies any involvement.

Perez said: “The only thing he saw was when the boat that Bruno and Dom Philips were piloting passed in front of his community. [He only made] eye contact.”

But the police searched his residence following anonymous tip-offs about his alleged involvement in the pair’s disappearance.

Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira who is also missing ( FAMILY HANDOUT/AFP via Getty Ima)
A photograph shows British journalist Dom Phillips, who went missing while reporting in a remote part of the Amazon ( via REUTERS)

A police spokesman named Timoteo said: “After arriving at his residence, restricted-use ammunition was found, in addition to pellets and a narcotic substance.”

At the time of reporting, the suspect was still under investigation.

As of Tuesday night, he was the only suspect to have been questioned. The police had also interviewed five witnesses.

The search for the missing men is ongoing.

International pressure for action is mounting with a vigil taking place outside the Brazilian Embassy in Central London for the two.

Protesters carrying large pictures of the missing men delivered a letter urging Brazilian authorities to ramp up the search operation immediately.

Brazilian Army General Claudio Placido speaks during a news conference about the search operation ( REUTERS/Bruno Kelly)

The NGO Observatory for the Human Rights of Isolated Indigenous Peoples criticized the Bolsonaro government for its lack of support in finding the two, reports MercoPress.

Leonardo Lenin Santos, from the Observatory of Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples, slammed ”the government issued notes about a big operation in the region, but that is a lie, only 11 people from the Army arrived.“

”The ones who are really working are the Amazonas police, but they don’t have enough boats or fuel“ to search a large area.

Santos continued. ”The indigenous people are the ones who are really carrying out the searches.”

Mr Phillips, 57, a regular contributor to the Guardian, has reported from Brazil for more than a decade and had been working on a book about preservation of the Amazon.

Local and federal police have been searching hundreds of miles of rivers and rainforest ( Brazilian Federal Police HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

He had photographed the men following the confrontation after they travelled by river to the territory’s borders, according to the Univaja association of people in the Vale do Javari indigenous territory.

The association’s president, Paulo Marubo, previously said the group had brandished firearms at a Univaja patrol.

Indigenous leaders on the ground, family members and peers of Mr Pereira and Mr Phillips have urged for increased efforts to find them.

Mr Phillips’ wife, Alessandra Sampaio, recorded a video pleading with the government to intensify the operation.

She said: “We still have some hope of finding them.

“Even if I don’t find the love of my life alive, they must be found,” she said in the video posted on Twitter.

Mr Pereira has long operated in Javari Valley for the Brazilian indigenous affairs agency as an advocate of the indigenous tribes and had received a number of threats from illegal fisherman and poachers.

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