British Airways crew who claimed they were mugged in Brazil had ‘spent the whole night drinking’ – forcing flight to be cancelled
- The crew members were scheduled to fly back to Heathrow in early September
A British Airways crew who had claimed they were mugged in Brazil had allegedly spent the whole night drinking, forcing the flight to be cancelled.
The crew members aged 40, 39 and 31, were scheduled to fly back to Heathrow Airport in early September, but claimed they were robbed, causing the flight to be rescheduled to the day after.
A police investigation now reportedly found that they ‘did not tell the truth and didn’t say what actually happened that morning’.
The Special Tourism Support Police (Deat) believes the crew members invented the robbery story to avoid getting punished by British Airways, according to local media reports.
‘What is surprising is how a crew that has such an important role spends the whole night drinking and using drugs, knowing that the next day they would have the responsibility of taking care of dozens of people who would travel for hours,’ Patricia Alemany, head of Deat, told Brazilian newspaper Globo.
A police investigation now reportedly found that they ‘did not tell the truth and didn’t say what actually happened that morning’. CCTV images from the night (pictured here) appear to show the trio on a night out
A British Airways flight (file photo) heading for London was delayed for a day after its crew claimed to have been robbed in Rio de Janeiro
The allegedly ‘invented’ robbery happened minutes after the members of the crew hailed a taxi and were taken to an abandoned gas station in Vaz Lobo where they were robbed.
But police have now said the crew lost their phones after a night drinking large amounts of alcohol, before inventing the robbery to cover their tracks.
CCTV footage from the night out reportedly shows the three crew members out and about at 4.50am in Rio de Janeiro.
The crew had been on an overnight stay in the city and were heading back to their lodgings in Copacabana before they were due to operate a flight home to Britain the next day, according to local media.
Two crew members said they were robbed by three men who followed them from Pedra do Sal. They allegedly took two mobile phones, but the pair managed to hide one they later used to call another car service.
The crew had been waiting for another cab on the street in Penha, a tough neighbourhood miles from their hotel in Copacabana.
The terrified crew had been on an overnight stay in the city and were heading back to their lodgings in Copacabana (pictured, file photo) before they were due to operate a flight home to Britain the next day, according to local media
Rio’s North Zone is the site of frequent and violent clashes between police and drug trafficking gangs fighting for territorial control.
Drug trafficking gangs have historically controlled the territory, but clashes with the police have resulted in civilian deaths.
On their way back to their accommodation, they said they were robbed again – this time by a man on a motorcycle – and the third phone was taken.
Meanwhile the third crew member claimed he had been drinking at Pedra do Sal and met a woman who he talked to at a bar. He said he went to the bathroom and when he returned, he took a sip of his drink.
He claimed to not have any memory after that until he woke up lying in the middle of a road, insinuating his drink was spiked.
Assistant police chief Danielle Bullus said: ‘They created these stories to try to justify probably inappropriate behaviour outside of company rules.
Rio’s North Zone is the site of frequent and violent clashes between police and drug trafficking gangs fighting for territorial control. Pictured: Rio de Janeiro’s Military Police in Penha, 2023
‘But we found out that there was a theft of a cell phone from the pair who were in Vaz Lobo.’
Police believe the third crew member became separated from his colleagues due to excessive drinking ‘to the point of becoming unconscious’.
They said construction workers had to revive the man and called for an ambulance. While waiting for it to arrive, the man allegedly showed a pin of white powder, which the police to be cocaine.
Once in hospital, the man allegedly admitted that he spent the night drinking and taking drugs with two women.
The case was reported to the 27th Police Station (Vicente de Carvalho) and forwarded to the Special Tourism Support Police Station (Deat).
British Airways told MailOnline: ‘This is a matter for the police.’
A BA representative added the crew members were not due to operate a flight the next day as alleged’
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