Wednesday 28 September 2016

Three Swedish tourists abducted in Rio slum released unharmed

Published 04/08/2016 | 18:47

Workers install a set of Olympic Rings at the Olympic Park. Photo: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Workers install a set of Olympic Rings at the Olympic Park. Photo: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Three Swedish tourists visiting Rio for the Olympics were briefly abducted by armed men after stopping near a dangerous slum to take photos, but were released unharmed, police said Thursday.

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The tourists were traveling toward the city center Wednesday in an Uber car when one passenger asked the driver to pull over near the Lins complex of shantytowns, Rio's police said in an statement.

An armed man quickly approached the car, told the passengers to get out, and the Uber driver fled the scene when he heard what he thought was a gunshot. The driver immediately went to the nearest police station to report the incident.

Police were dispatched to the shantytown but were told that the Swedish tourists, who were not identified, had been released and had returned to their hotel in a taxi.

Authorities confirmed the tourists returned unharmed.

The tourists told police that nothing was stolen from them, and that, once the gunman realized they were foreigners, he only asked to see the photos they took and then set them free.

Drug gangs in Rio's slums are constantly on guard against any incursion by police or rival gangs and usually do not permit anyone to take photos of the areas where they operate.

Reuters

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