The Rio Olympics are still two weeks away, but according to a New Zealand athlete, the corruption and danger have already begun in earnest.
Jason Lee — not the one from those Chipmunks movies — claimed he was kidnapped by two police officers and forced to withdraw money from an ATM to buy his release. He told his story to the New Zealand Herald.
“I was threatened with arrest if I did not get in their private car and accompany them to two ATMs to withdraw a large sum of money for a bribe.
“I’m not sure what’s more depressing, the fact this stuff is happening to foreigners so close to the Olympic Games or the fact that Brazilians have to live in a society that enables this absolute bullshit on a daily basis.”
I’m going to say it’s probably the second one, as Olympic athletes there for two weeks probably won’t have it as bad as the people who have to live there forever. Lee moved to Brazil 10 months ago to train in jiu-jitsu, so if this guy isn’t comfortable warding off kidnappers, the synchronized swim teams probably won’t feel great either.
But fear not, as you’re about to get some sound advice if you’re going to Rio.
A spokesman from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it did not have information on the incident but pointed to its advice section.
“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. To reduce the risk of this occurring we recommend you use ATMs that are located in public places during daylight hours or ATMs located within bank branches.”
Look, just don’t go to an ATM at night, ever. Rooting out the corrupt practices that lead to these kidnappings? Hey, what are we? Liam Neeson in Taken? Just never leave your hotel. Enjoy your stay in Rio.
(Via New Zealand Herald)