New Zealand jiujitsu champ Jason Lee says he was kidnapped and robbed by police in Rio

A bizarre story unfolding right now in Rio de Janeiro won’t do anything to reassure anyone with hesitations about visiting the country for the upcoming Olympic Games.

Jason Lee, a New Zealand jiujitsu champion who has been living in Rio for 10 months, said he was kidnapped by two armed state police officers who forced him to pay them the equivalent of $600 U.S. dollars.

The incident started when Lee was pulled over in what was originally presented as a routine traffic stop. Then things got weird.

"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,” Lee wrote on a now-deleted Facebook post.

"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 ... on a daily basis.”

When he returned to the Rio home he shares with New Zealand journalist Laura McQuillan, Lee decided to report the rogue officers to the tourist police even though the men warned him not to do so.

"I was umming and ahhing about whether I should even make a complaint,” Lee wrote on Facebook. “One of the guys I was reporting it to said 'we understand you are hesitant, because we are the Police, and that branch of the Police is so scary even we are afraid of them'."

But things would get even weirder. On Monday, Lee and McQuillan, who is covering the Olympics for Stuff magazine, received a home visit from the same officers. The couple documented the ordeal on Facebook as it unfolded in real time.

Stay tuned ...


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