Rio police arrested over alleged athlete kidnapping

Jiu-jitsu fighter Jason Lee said he was returning from a tournament in Rio when he was stopped by two men in police uniform riding motorbikes who demanded 2,000 reais ($608) as a fine (AFP Photo/Christophe Simon)

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) - Two armed police officers accused of briefly kidnapping and extorting a New Zealand jiu-jitsu athlete in Rio de Janeiro have been arrested, said Brazil's Military Police (PM) Tuesday.

"The case is under rigorous investigation and if proven, the two officers will face disciplinary administrative proceedings that will judge whether they should be excluded from corporation," said a PM statement.

"The Military Police do not tolerate any misconduct and such acts sadden the 50,000 honest police who fight crime daily."

According to Lee, he was returning from a jiu-jitsu tournament in a rental car when he was stopped by two men in police uniform riding motorbikes. They demanded 2,000 reais ($608) as a fine, saying his documents were not in order

"What did you guys get up to yesterday? I got kidnapped. Go Olympics!" tweeted Jason Lee a martial arts expert who is studying Brazilian jiujitsu, which is not an Olympic sport.

Lee told the New Zealand news site that when he explained he did not have that much money, the apparent police then escorted him to a police post and made him to get into an unmarked car to drive with one of them to an ATM.

According to Lee, when he went to report the incident at a police station later, he was told by an officer there "even we are afraid" of the officers who allegedly carried out the assault.

Some 85,000 police and soldiers are being deployed for the Olympics -- double the number used in the 2012 London Games -- as the authorities try to put a lid on rampant street crime.