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.

In Rio de Janeiro police officers arrested a tourist, Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
In Rio de Janeiro police officers arrested a tourist after being caught with drugs and offering a bribe, photo by Clarice Castro/Imprensa RJ.

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).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.


  1. Hard to believe that the Rio police (or teh Rio Times) would want to publicize this…for sure the person was wrong…but, given the “normal” state of affairs in Rio it is ridiculous that this is even being printed.

  2. Thank you for reading and taking the time to post a comment. We decided to publish the article as a warning to others who might think it they can pay off the Rio police in situations like this. Obviously the government is sending a message, which we felt our readers should know about. Thank you again.

  3. There’s no “Federal Police” in France, there are no states such as U.S. or Brazilian States, that are given a quite large autonomy in many areas. There are only regions and subregions, because France is a centralized country, so you should write “National Police” instead to be more accurate.

  4. I’m happy this was posted. Also, it’s nice to see the police are not letting petty crimes go unpunished.

  5. He’s lucky that didn’t happen in the US. He’d have been likely to have had his money and pot taken and probably shot and killed.

  6. I think the article is definitely newsworthy, and some of the comments are surely thought provoking…

    There should be more of this type of article to serve both the resident and visiting populations…

  7. I do not really understand people. If the police accepts bribes instead of doing its job, people say the police is corrupt. If the authorities do their job according to what the constitution says, the bribe was too low, that’ s why they didn’t accept it. You guys are so confusing!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

1 + sixteen =