A top jiujitsu fighter got nabbed by thugs pretending to be cops in Rio de Janeiro, according to his Twitter account Sunday, with less than two weeks to go before the 2016 summer Olympics.
New Zealand athlete Jason Lee tweeted Sunday he “got kidnapped” Saturday. His girlfriend, journalist Laura McQuillan, then tweeted Lee was, “accosted by Policia Militar cops who drove him to two ATMs and forced him to withdraw cash.”
Lee is by no means the first major athlete to fall victim to dangerous crime in Rio de Janeiro. Brazilian muggers pushed Australian paralympian Liesl Tesch off her bike when she didn’t have cash in June.
In the lead up to the Olympics, Rio cops have expressed their dissatisfaction with their pay, which has been somewhat lacking as the cash-strapped state and city have had trouble paying for the games. Police protested in the Rio de Janeiro international airport in June with a sign reading, “WELCOME TO HELL: police and firefighters don’t get paid, whoever comes to Rio de Janeiro will not be safe.”
To help calm cops, tourists, and athletes, Rio poured an additional $26 million into security that is meant to pay 88,000 security officials. The additional funding lasts from July 24 until the Olympics end Aug. 21.
Lee will not participate in the upcoming games because jiujitsu is not an Olympic sport.
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