Photo: World Cup 2014
Police in one of the 12 Brazilian cities hosting World Cup matches arrested 18 Colombian nationals on suspicion of robbery, authorities said Wednesday.
The 17 men and one woman were detained in the wee hours of the morning in downtown Belo Horizonte, police in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais said.
Three of the suspects were questioned earlier this week after two other Colombians were robbed during their stay in Belo Horizonte for last weekend’s Colombia-Greece World Cup match.
The latest arrests came after a young man showed up at a Belo Horizonte police station to complain that he had been mugged by a group of as many as 10 people.
Police accompanied the victim back to the scene of the crime, in Rio Branco square, to see if he could identify his assailants.
In the meantime, police dispatched additional units to the square after receiving a call about a brawl between Brazilians and foreigners that followed a separate robbery.
“The Brazilians said the Colombians had robbed them and we deduced that they were the same authors of the first robbery because the first victim recognized them,” police Sgt. Marcelo Douglas Estevao told reporters.
The Colombians were found in possession of some of the stolen items.
“They (the Colombian suspects) are always together,” Estevao said. “They stay in cheap hotels in the city center and are always getting into trouble because they don’t pay their bills at restaurants and other places.”