New Zealand fighter ‘kidnapped’ in Rio by men posing as police
A New Zealand-born jujitsu fighter based in Rio de Janeiro tells Stuff.co.NZ that he was “kidnapped” by men that posed as police with firearms and forced him to withdraw money from an ATM before releasing him.
Jason Lee, the 27-year-old fighter, shared the news with his fans on Twitter on Sunday morning. Lee will not compete at the 2016 Olympics but has been training in Brazil over the last 10 months.
“What did you guys get up to yesterday? I got kidnapped,” Lee wrote. “Go Olympics!”
Lee says that he was stopped by police while sitting in his car and then forced into an unmarked car.
“He says, ‘You can't drive in Brazil as a foreigner without a passport,’ which I now know isn’t the case at all,” Lee said. “The rental car company hadn’t mentioned that to me. He starts opening the book, showing me all these passages in Portuguese, which I can sort of read, like, every third word.”
The men took him to the ATM and made him go into stores to withdraw money while they remained in their cars and were not captured on camera.
Lee returned his rental car as he feared they may have planted drugs and then reported the incident to police. The fighter then tweeted Monday that police showed up to his house unannounced.
Policia Militar have shown up at my apartment unannounced. I have refused them access, called my embassy and we are waiting for Civil Police— Jason Lee (@jasonleejitsu) July 25, 2016
I was assured by civil police that by making a statement, my personal information could not be accessed by Policia Militar— Jason Lee (@jasonleejitsu) July 25, 2016
Locked in our apartment awaiting advice from the NZ ambassador. Policia Militar has now left. Awaiting arrival of Civil Police— Jason Lee (@jasonleejitsu) July 25, 2016
The Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are set to begin on Aug. 5.