Two police officers are in custody after a Kiwi sportsman was allegedly kidnapped in Rio de Janeiro.

Jiu-jitsu athlete Jason Lee claimed he was kidnapped by men in police uniform on Sunday and told to withdraw money from ATMs and pay a bribe or he would be arrested. He was later released.

Yesterday he tweeted that Policia Militar had arrived unannounced at his Rio apartment unannounced. He denied them entry and called the Civil Police and New Zealand Embassy for help.

A statement issued by the Brazilian military police said two officers had been taken into questioning Monday evening local time and detained.


The kidnapping claims were being scrutinised under a military police parallel inquiry to judge the misconduct of officers and military crimes. If found guilty it could lead to their exclusion.

The civil police were also investigating the case.

Lee, who is from Wellington but moved to Rio to train, said he was safe after his recent ordeal but concerned the military police officers had been able to track him down at home.

"I have refused them access, called my embassy and we are waiting for Civil Police ... I was assured by civil police that by making a statement, my personal information could not be accessed by Policia Militar."

He added on Twitter that he and girlfriend Laura McQuillan were locked in their apartment waiting for advice from the New Zealand ambassador.

"Policia Militar has now left. Awaiting arrival of Civil Police."

Several hours later he shared better news with his Twitter followers.

"We are safe. Thanks for the msgs from everyone overseas and locally. I will reply to you all when time allows. Thanks for the support!"