By George Utley, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – An off-duty agent of the French Federal Police was released from prison on Sunday morning, having been arrested in the center of Rio the previous night for possession of around thirty grams of marijuana. Local news outlet O Globo reported that after the suspect was caught he attempted to bribe the police but was taken to jail for the night.
The 27-year-old man was stopped just after midnight behind the Arcos de Lapa (Lapa Arches) on Rua Silva Romero, by officers of the 5th Battalion of the Military Police (BPM).
According to information received from the Police, he made at least one attempt to bribe the arresting officers. He was arrested and taken to the 5th Police Delegation (5º DP) in Lapa on Av. Mem de Sá.
Police reports state the suspect was caught red-handed in the act of smoking the drug, and proceeded to open his wallet, gesticulating that he would pay for his release. An interpreter was called upon to assist the Brazilian police with their investigation.
The accused man claimed that he had been advised, back home in France, to offer money to PMs in the case of such an eventuality in order to buy his freedom, and that this was common practice in Brazil. He was fined for use and possession of drugs, and attempted corruption of justice. Judge Andréia Florêncio Berto granted a license for his release from prison, as he “posed no risk to society.”
In his testimony the Frenchman admitted that he was using drugs with two unknown men before being arrested. He also admitted to offering a bribe, but neither the tourist nor the arresting officers would say how much was offered.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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