American Tourist Cuts Short Trip to Brazil After Being Robbed by Policeman

Levi Shabtai, 64, an American tourist traveling in Brazil was robbed by a policeman and a former prison guard in Belo Horizonte, the capital of the southeastern Brazilian state or Minas Gerais.

Shabtai was carrying US$ 7,200 in cash plus US$ 2,500 in traveller’s checks. All of his money was taken.

The tourist born in Israel, was robbed on Thursday, October 26. Less than 24 hours later, he was already on a plane flying back home to the United States. He had been only three days in Brazil when he was assaulted and robbed.

In his deposition to the police, the US citizen said that he had just left the office of a friend and was going to the bank to exchange dollars when he was approached by two men who didn’t seem to carry any weapon.

According to him, the men identified themselves as policemen and even presented an ID to prove it. He kept walking, however, since he had no idea what was happening.

The two men followed him  and ended up holding and tying him up with shackles  to the bars of a building. The tourist would only be freed more than 10 minutes later. The crime occurred in an upscale neighborhood of Belo Horizonte known as Funcionários.

Kennedy Mendes da Silva and Josias Manoel Delfino are in jail now after being arrested by military policemen patrolling the Palácio da Liberdade, Minas government’s headquarters.

Both suspects were recognized by the American tourist as well as by witnesses who not only saw the robbery, but also helped police chase the criminals. Despite having been caught red handed, Silva and Delfino in their deposition at the police station, denied having done anything against the American  

Court reports show that detective Silva had been sentenced for drug trafficking and his accomplice, former jailer Delfino also had been sent to jail for homicide. No one had served time however.

The Belo Horizonte’s civilian police said that the police’s review board is investigating why Silva and Delfino were not behind bars. Both men have been locked now at the Minas Gerais’s Deoesp (State Office for Special Operations).

Paulo Roberto Mayrinques, police chief at the Vespasiano’s police station, where both criminals should be jailed, has been fired. The new police chief is Elias Oscar de Oliveira.


  • Show Comments (26)

  • MG

    * Nothing New *
    Brazil, overall is nice. But, like any big city, ANYONE is subject to crime. Brazil’s economies is causing people to become very desperate and unfortunately, there are criminals everywhere. However, there is NO comparison between crime in the big cities in Brazil and crime in the U.S. In fact, there is no wisdom in comparing Brazil to the United States on anything. Two totally different countries.
    Tourists should be careful where they go, not only in Brazil but anywhere in the world. Many tourists have been robbed and even killed in places like Italy and France. Crime is everywhere. Brazil has a lot of desperate criminals and this guy was lucky he wasn’t shot and killed in cold blood, he these two been REAL robbers.

  • Lee1978

    Allright, you clowns!!
    Enough with the bullshit …….Brazil is Dangerous,blah, blah, blah……What can we, who plan to take a trip(vacation) to this beautiful country do to lessen the chance of being a victim of robbery and/or other criminal behaviour? Obviously, you shouldn’t walk around by yourself at night and you shouldn’t wear flashy jewelry but what else???

  • netineti

    Well this a productive discussion. The USA had a problem with police/ politician graft and corruption during the early part of the 20th century. We dealt with it (still are), Brazil can, too, if only her people will!

  • James

    Do we really care what Swedes 16-29 really think? Come now now… Ex Pat, your point was right on. What is really funny is that the majority of Brasilians are against war, death penalty, etc., but the society they live in is surrounded by violence on a daily basis.Perhaps they should concentrate on cleaning up their own violent society.

    God Bless America!!!!!

  • Righto

    You stupid donkey: Allah and Jesus, both were discussing about USA, and felt pity on the people living there. I too feel pity on you, as you dont realise the reality, and understand the feelings of majority in this world. You probably are one of the stupids belonging to USA. Equaly responsible for creating and increasing hatred.

  • ex pat

    ANd your point righto?
    What on Allahˢ۪s blood stained world would have you believe the opinion of 1000 Smirnoff saturated Sweeds has anything AT ALL to do with violence in Brazil?

  • Righto

    STOCKHOLM: The United States is a greater threat to world peace than North Korea, according to Swedes surveyed in a poll aired on Sunday.

    Some 29 per cent of those surveyed said the US posed the biggest danger to peace, compared to 28 per cent who considered North Korea the top menace, according to the Temo poll broadcast on Sunday by Swedish television station Axess.

    Among Swedes aged 16-29, a striking 40 per cent believed the US presented the greatest risk.

    Iran placed third with 18 per cent, followed by Israel (six per cent), China (four per cent) and Russia (three per cent).

    Some 1,000 people were surveyed.

  • Brew

    Mommy does his spell check
    … another epileptic seizure on their keyboard! DonÀ¢€™t you ever have a point to your posts beyond giving your fingers some exercise by dancing them randomly over the keyboard?

    Would the dyslexic botched lobotomy american patients in the room with the crisscross shoelace scars on their foreheads kindly improve the quality of their insults or drool in silence. Thanks.

    Nice – you spent well over an hour using spell-check . . . LOL!! We can almost imagine the steam rolling out of your ears as you tried to get this post just right and show everyone what a big boy you are! I can’t stop laughing imagining you trying to master the use of a computer. Does your mom type your posts for you little fella?

  • reality

    to : MG
    Please name your sources that MANY tourists have been killed in Italy and France !

    As to the deaths crimes in Brazil, I just remind you that 50 % of youths deaths aged 15-24 in Brazil…….are from violent crimes !
    Please name another country with a similar comparison !

    SP has got the gold medal from many sources of being The World Most Violent and Unsecured City !
    In SP alone, there are around 600 kidnapings….per year !
    Please name a large city, with a similar number than that !

    As to the homicide rate, just refer to an article published a few months ago on this same site, for whatever it is worth :
    if UK is given a number of 1 (for stats purposes), the US gets 6 and Brazil gets 28.

    Meaning that there are 6 times more homicides rates per 100’000 capita in USA than
    UK and that Brazil has around 4,5 times more homicides rate than the USA and 28 times more than in the UK…per 100’000 capita !

    But of course…there are homicides in UK. And the whole point is not if UK has zero homicide but is is the comparison that Brazilians are not willing to accept as the sad reality happening in their own country !

  • ex pat

    I was taught never to argue with a crazy person.
    Sadly, in Brazil he would be classified as your typically educated middle class kid. Therein lies the rub.

  • James

    Poor Costinha
    I was taught never to argue with a crazy person.

  • costinha

    Americans having …
    … another epileptic seizure on their keyboard! DonÀ¢€™t you ever have a point to your posts beyond giving your fingers some exercise by dancing them randomly over the keyboard?

    Would the dyslexic botched lobotomy american patients in the room with the crisscross shoelace scars on their foreheads kindly improve the quality of their insults or drool in silence. Thanks.


  • Righto

    Somehow, it appears majority of people who are not from US, do have a bitter feeling for US.
    There can not be smoke without fire.

  • ex pat

    Oh poor costinha
    Pay no attention to Costinha, this individual has no concept of reality.

    To even think someone charged of homicide would still be walking the streets of the US, and not waiting to have a scalp-fryer placed on his head, is ludicrous to say the least. The US may have myriad faults, but one thing I respect about them is they like to get rid of their thugs!

    Remember only about 3% of murders in Brazil are ever solved. Delfino is one of those rare cases where a homicide is actually solved, and someone is charged. However in true Brazilian fashion the knuckle-dragger is still allowed to walk the streets. Does anyone think a follow up investigation as to why said troglodyte was allowed to avoid his sentence will take place? Remember, this is À¢€œloucolandiaÀ¢€Â my friends.

    Ya costinha, Brazil’s crime is no different than anywhere else in the world. IÀ¢€™m being sarcastic (btw), and sadly having to state the glaringly obvious because I feel even simple concepts such as this need to be explained to you.

  • Guest

    My mother is Brazilian and lives in Brazil. She would like for us to visit her but I told her that we would look much like tourist and that I may need to hire a bodyguard to protect me and my kids as the movie stars do. We laughed, but then agreed we better be safe then sorry. I do not want to be kidnapped. Natal , RG Norte

  • Brew

    Scums? LOL!
    Kinda Funny
    written by costinha, 2006-10-28 12:51:51

    The above american scums talk as if the US is any safer.

    That’s scum in the singular and commenting as someone who is impartial, caring neither for Brazil or the US, I can safely say the US is MUCH safer than most parts of Brazil. Hey Costinha, why don’t you get back to that small animal you were torturing before you dragged your pathetic, hateful ass in here to stink up the site?

  • James

    American Scum?
    Perhaps you arent familiar with what transpires on a regular basis in Sao Paulo. Criminals from inside your prisons virtually shut down your cities.Buses are burnt and traffic is slowed to a crawl. Yes, American is far from perfect but our Government does a decent job of enforcing our laws and keeping our cities relatively safe.

    When Brasil wants to be become a Serious World Player,, she must keep the streets safe for its people and visitors.

  • Bryan

    U.S. is much safer
    Yes, the U.S. is much safer in most places. But as with any big city, you have to be careful where you go, not to carry large amounts of cash for long periods, and not to make it known when you are. But Belo is much safer than a lot of places in Brazil. I have been there many times and I always feel as safe as most U.S. cities when I am there, as opposed to Rio where I never feel safe.


    Brasil is not a serious country. It is Brasilians who make it this way and Brasilians who keep ot this way, your children will face the same problems because that is what you want.
    The ex-cop had to rob so he could pay the polioce chief to stay out of jail.
    If all the gringos stayed home, nothing would change, Brasilians would rob and assault Brasilians
    You do it to yourselves, you don’t change it, enjoy it, sunshine, beautuful women and a big joke to the rest of the world

  • Guest

    Costinha, you must be joking. The U.S. is safer, much safer. Just look at the crime statistics or consult Amnesty International or any other international organization that publishes crime statistics to gain some perspective. I live half-time in the U.S. and half-time in Brazil….there is simply no comparison with regards to public safety, corruption and rampant violence; Brazil is far worse. I love Brazil but the country has major corruption and crime problems it must address.

  • costinha

    Kinda Funny
    The above american scums talk as if the US is any safer.

    Walk around in LA, Miami, NY, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Atlanta, San Francisco and many other american cities on foot with a fat wallet. Let’s see how long you will get to keep it in your possession!

  • Robert

    So whats new
    Every time you drive in the rural areas of Brazil you are robbed by the police at the road blocks.
    They will always ask for Beer money or other kinds of money. If you do not pay see what happens.
    This is police robbery. I have got stopped 10 different times on one streach of road outside Recife.

  • James

    Brasil.. Man Up!
    It’s time for Brasil to Man UP and get some balls. Enough with the stories of corruption and graft. Enough of the stories about criminals taking over your cities. Brasil will never be taken seriously until she can clean up her act and make your cities safe. Look what happened in New York City. It’s now one of the safest Large cities in America. It can be done, Brasil.

    Maybe we should lend you Rudy Guilliani.


  • Reality

    Even Worse….
    …..the one that should have been behind bars was….the policeman !

    And of course the 2 robbers, having been seen by several witnesses…..deny of having done something wrong !

    I suppose that for the policeman robber it is Normal for him to assault and take money from a tourist. Thus of course, in his retarded brains, he did nothing wrong and even that what happened did not happen !

    Great policemen in Brazil ! The population is truly safe!

    Laugh…..laugh….laugh !

  • ch.c.

    – That one of the 2 robbers should have been behind bars….but was not !
    On vacation…..probably ! Strange Isnt ? But probably normal in Brazil !
    – Tourists being assaulted and robbed is becoming the daily life, a way of life…in Brazil !
    Greeeat…..publicity for your tourism industry !

  • alltheway

    MIke Jaeger said it a lonbg time ago ..”All cops are criminals and all sinners are saints”

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