Brazil: British Tourists Robbed in Bus on Way from Airport to Hotel

A group of 18 British tourists were robbed from all their hand luggage just minutes after leaving the airport while still in the bus that was taking them to the hotel for the start of their Brazilian adventure.

They had landed in Rio’s Antônio Carlos Jobim international airport the night of Saturday and were on their way to their hotel in Copacabana when their bus was cut in by a Mitsubishi Pajero with four men aboard at around 11:15 pm.

According to the police the robbery occurred close do Rio’s Modern Art Museum (MAM) at Aterro do Flamengo (Flamengo beach landfill) in the city’s south side.

After cutting in front of the bus, three men who identified themselves as policemen ordered the bus driver to open the vehicle’s door.

The driver told police later that one of the robbers was carrying a grenade while the others had a gun. Once inside the bus their first action was to hit one of the tourists with the gun butt. They then proceeded to take all the hand luggage the tourists were carrying.

Before reaching Le Meridien Hotel in Copacabana the driver took his passengers to the  9th Police Station, in Catete, and also to the Deat (Tourist Assistance Bureau) in Leblon.

Witnesses say that the 18 tourists seemed very scared when they finally were left at their hotel’s door, escorted by a military police car. If the incident doesn’t make them change their plans they should stay in Rio until Wednesday, November 29.

Eurides Fonseca, the bus driver told police that the criminals threatened to explode the grenade several times. After cleaning up the tourists from their possessions, he said, they drove towards downtown. .

The foreign tourists were shown pictures by the police in an effort to find out who had assaulted them. Rio’s authorities say they already know who robbed the British. But nobody has been arrested.

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