Latin America & Caribbean

Rio minibus rape: Brazil police make third arrest

Suspects Jonathan Froudakis de Souza (left) and Wallace Aparecido Silva, 22
Image caption The first two arrested were Jonathan Froudakis de Souza (left) and Wallace Aparecido Silva

Police in Brazil have arrested a third man accused of robbing and raping a foreign tourist on a minibus in Rio de Janeiro.

Two men were arrested hours after the incident on Saturday and police say one of them has confessed.

Police say a gang raped the tourist and beat up her boyfriend, also a foreign national, forcing them to withdraw money from cash machines.

Rio hosts the football World Cup next year and the Olympics in 2016.

Curbing violence is a major priority for city authorities.

Police say the gang has been operating in Rio for several months and that other victims have come forward since the incident.

Earlier, police named the first two suspects arrested as Jonathan Foudakis de Souza, 20, and Wallace Aparecido de Souza Silva, 22.

They later arrested a third man named as Carlos Armando Costa dos Santos, 21.

Police said the couple boarded the minibus in the neighbourhood of Copacabana.

It is believed that the driver and two others made other passengers leave the minibus before attacking the two tourists on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, police said.

The woman was repeatedly raped and her boyfriend was handcuffed and badly beaten.

The couple were dumped in the nearby city of Itaborai after being forced to use their credit cards to buy goods and withdraw money from cash machines, the police report says.

Police chief Alexandre Braga said detectives had used the bank receipts and transactions to track down the route the gang had taken.

"We identified the places and sent out teams of police where we obtained even more information about the suspects' physical characteristics and then a little while after their identity," he said.

Robberies are common on buses in Rio de Janeiro and other Brazilian cities but the violence and audacity of the latest attack has shocked local media.

More on this story