Tags: jason lee | rio | express | kidnapping

Jason Lee's Rio 'Express Kidnapping' Common in Brazil

Image: Jason Lee's Rio 'Express Kidnapping' Common in Brazil
 (photo of Instagram post)

By    |   Tuesday, 26 Jul 2016 06:15 AM

Jason Lee, a jiu-jitsu athlete from New Zealand, said he was kidnapped over the weekend in Rio de Janeiro, but it was an "express kidnapping" so he was soon free.

Lee, who is not part of the Olympic games, said armed police forced him into a car and made him withdraw the equivalent of $800 from ATMs, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Two armed police officers on motorcycles reportedly pulled him over, warned him not to report the incident, forced him to drive the wrong way down the highway, transferred him into an unmarked car, and took him to several ATMs, the newspaper said.

Lee, who has lived in Rio for about a year, said the officers told him that he couldn't drive without a passport and demanded he pay them an amount equal to about $800 or face arrest, the Morning Herald said. When he said he didn't have that much cash they told him to follow them to an ATM.

"These guys have pulled me over, they have weapons. I'm not in any position to negotiate," Lee said, according to the Morning Herald.

He was released after turning over the money, and reported the incident to tourist police.

Lee and his girlfriend, New Zealand journalist Laura McQuillian, tweeted about the incident.


A spokesman from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said he didn't have information about the incident, but said "Reports of express kidnappings in Brazil are common in major cities. This is when criminals abduct a victim for a short amount of time and force them to withdraw funds from their bank account," Sky News reported.

The incident heightens concerns about safety at the Olympics. It comes after Paralympic sailor Liesl Tesch and team official Sarah Ross were robbed of their bicycles at gunpoint, the New Zealand Herald noted.

Meanwhile, Australia's Olympic team refused to move into the Athlete Village, after team officials said the apartments were not ready and had plumbing, electrical and cleaning problems.

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Jason Lee, a jiu-jitsu athlete from New Zealand, said he was kidnapped over the weekend in Rio de Janeiro, but it was an "express kidnapping" so he was soon free.
jason lee, rio, express, kidnapping
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2016-15-26
Tuesday, 26 Jul 2016 06:15 AM
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