Men accused of kidnapping Kiwi sportsman Jason Lee in Brazil have been detained and may face criminal charges.

The Embassy of the Federative Republic of Brazil, in Wellington, has released a statement in relation to the alleged kidnapping last week.

Lee, a Jiu-Jitsu athlete claimed he was kidnapped by men in police uniform and forced to withdraw money from ATM's.

Today the embassy said within six hours of the offense taking place on Saturday July 23, local time, the suspects were identified and detained.


It affirmed the men accused of the kidnapping are being held in "administrative detention whilst answering for the criminal charges laid before them".

The embassy said further statements were being collected via video conference and that it had been in touch with Lee's family to offer them any assistance as required.

On the Monday after the kidnapping was said to take place, Lee and his partner, journalist Laura McQuillan said they were faced with a visit by more men dressed in police uniform.

The pair, frightened for their safety left Rio on the Tuesday morning, before fleeing to Canada - a few months earlier than planned.