Brazil police hunt 'blonde kidnap gang' in Sao Paulo

Photos of six women suspected of belonging to a kidnap gang in Sao Paulo (picture from Brazilian police - DHPP) The police have identified six suspects

Related Stories

Brazilian police say they are hunting a gang of mostly blonde young women who have committed a series of kidnaps and robberies in Sao Paulo.

The criminals have been targeting wealthy women in shopping centres, Sao Paulo's anti-kidnap police unit says.

The victims are followed to their cars, where they are robbed and held captive at gunpoint while the gang uses their credit cards to make luxury purchases.

Police said the "blonde gang" consisted of young, educated, middle-class women.

Sao Paulo civil police anti-kidnap division chief Joaquim Dias Alves told BBC Mundo: "One or two speak more than one language, and some have been educated overseas.

"They are really pretty girls, well-dressed and made up," he said.

The gang tend to target women who look similar to them, so they can assume the victim's identity while they use their credit cards.

They are thought to have been operating for three years, and to have robbed at least 50 people.

Police say they have begun to break up the gang, with three suspects arrested, including one man.

So-called "express kidnappings" - where victims are held for a few hours while their bank accounts and credit cards are drained - are a common crime in Latin America.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Latin America & Caribbean stories



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.