Kiwi sportsman kidnapped in Brazil says there's more to bizarre tale

New Zealand ju-jitsu athlete Jason Lee and his girlfriend have fled Brazil and are now in Canada. Photo / File
New Zealand ju-jitsu athlete Jason Lee and his girlfriend have fled Brazil and are now in Canada. Photo / File

The Kiwi sportsman allegedly kidnapped by military police in Brazil and who fled the country with his girlfriend says there's more to come in the bizarre tale.

Jason Lee, jiu-jitsu athlete and boyfriend of New Zealand journalist Laura McQuillan, is now safely in Canada after two frightening encounters with police in Rio de Janeiro last week.

Lee, who is from Wellington but moved to Rio to train, said on social media he was kidnapped by men in military police uniform, forced him to take money out of an ATM and later staked out his house.

With the help of McQuillan's employer, Fairfax Media, and the New Zealand Embassy, the pair arranged to leave Rio urgently in the wake of the incidents.

In an article for Fairfax today, McQuillan described why they felt they had to leave.

"It was at this point, after the second visit, that we knew we had to get out. We packed our bags and slept about two hours."

She said they left Rio in the early hours of the morning, crossing the state border to safety. While travelling, they read about the arrests of two police officers over Jason's kidnapping.

With work permits for Canada already in hand, they took separate flights to Toronto.

However, McQuillan hinted there was more to come.

"In all honesty, the story doesn't end so abruptly as I've told it," she told Fairfax.

"For various reasons, we're not able to share all the details just yet. Let's just say, it's easily the weirdest thing that will ever happen to me in my lifetime."

They said they were truly thankful to everyone who helped them, and to the people of Rio who shared their city with them.

- NZ Herald

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