Thursday, May 26

The Portuguese Education Minister mugged at knifepoint at the Olymoic Rio


 

 

Portugal’s Minister of Education was mugged at knifepoint as he headed back to his hotel from the Olympic cycling road race.

Tiago Brandao Rodrigues, 39, was stopped by a man brandishing a blade near his hotel in Ipanema on Saturday afternoon.

He and his aide Rita Roque were forced to hand over cash and mobiles.

The mugger fled after taking their valuables but was intercepted by locals who held him until police arrived and reunited the visiting politician and his advisor with their belongings

It is thought an accomplice managed to get away empty-handed.

It was a bit of a fright but we’re both okay

Rita Roque

Miss Roque, who described the weapon the mugger used as a “domestic knife”, admitted: “It was a bit of a fright but we’re both okay.”

She said Mr Rodrigues, a biochemistry graduate who was elected to the Portuguese Parliament last year, would be sticking to his agenda and watching national hope Joao Sousa play tennis before attending the football match between Portugal and Honduras.

Police in Brazil confirmed a 26-year-old named as Marcio Luiz Brandao had been arrested and accused of robbery – and faces a 10-year jail sentence if convicted.

Before being taken to a police station to be fingerprinted, he had to be treated in hospital for injuries he suffered at the hands of the angry locals who stopped him fleeing the scene of his crime.

Local reports said he had tried to bribe the officers who arrested him by offering them Reais 5,000 (£1,200) to avoid being taken into custody.

Brandao who was described as being well-known to police was held overnight in a police station before being transferred to Rio’s notorious Bangu prison.

He had been on parole for the past year after serving time for drugs trafficking.

His wife Lidiane Aguiar, who made an unsuccessful attempt to see him at the police station where he was held overnight, said: “He was desperate because he couldn’t manage to find work.

“We are living in a rented property and our situation is very difficult.”

Mr Rodrigues’ aide said the minister, the official Olympic attache for the Portuguese Mission to the London 2012 Olympics and a former Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cambridge and Cancer Research UK, would not be commenting

“We are living in a rented property and our situation is very difficult.”

Mr Rodrigues’ aide said the minister, the official Olympic attache for the Portuguese Mission to the London 2012 Olympics and a former Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cambridge and Cancer Research UK, would not be commenting.