British Airways crew who claimed they were mugged in Brazil had ‘spent the whole night drinking’ – forcing flight to be cancelled
A British Airways crew who claimed they had been robbed in Brazil had reportedly been drinking all night, forcing the flight to be cancelled.
The crew members, aged 40, 39 and 31, were due to fly back to Heathrow Airport in early September but claimed they had been robbed, prompting the flight to be rescheduled for the following day.
Police investigations have now reportedly revealed that they ‘did not tell the truth and did not say what actually happened that morning’.
The Special Tourism Support Police (DEAT) believe the crew members made up the robbery story to avoid being punished by British Airways, local media reported.
“What is surprising is how a crew that plays such an important role would spend all night drinking and taking drugs, knowing that the next day they would have the responsibility of caring for dozens of people traveling for hours,” says Patricia Alemany, head of Deat, told the Brazilian newspaper Globo.
Police investigations have now reportedly revealed that they ‘did not tell the truth and did not say what actually happened that morning’. CCTV footage from the night (pictured here) appears to show the trio on a night out
A British Airways flight (file photo) bound for London was delayed for a day after the crew claimed to have been robbed in Rio de Janeiro
The allegedly ‘fabricated’ robbery took place minutes after the crew members 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 drinking copious amounts of alcohol overnight, before masterminding the robbery to cover their tracks.
CCTV footage from the night out reportedly shows the three crew members in Rio de Janeiro at 4.50am.
The crew had spent a night in the city and were heading back to their accommodation in Copacabana before flying to Britain the next day, local media said.
Two crew members said they were robbed by three men who followed them from Pedra do Sal. They allegedly took two mobile phones with them, but the pair managed to hide one which they later used to call another car service.
The crew had been waiting for a new taxi on the street in Penha, a tough area miles away from their hotel in Copacabana.
The terrified crew had spent a night in the city and were heading back to their accommodation in Copacabana (pictured, file photo) before flying to Britain the next day, local media said.
Rio’s northern zone is the scene of frequent and violent clashes between police and drug gangs battling for territorial control.
Drug gangs have historically controlled the area, but clashes with police have resulted in civilian deaths.
On the way back to their accommodation, they said they had been robbed again – this time by a man on a motorcycle – and that the third phone had been confiscated.
Meanwhile, the third crew member claimed he had been drinking in Pedra do Sal and met a woman he spoke to in a bar. He said he went to the bathroom and when he came back, he took a sip of his drink.
He then claimed to have no memory until he woke up in the middle of a road and insinuated there was booze in his drink.
Assistant Police Chief Danielle Bullus said, “They created these stories to probably justify inappropriate behavior outside of company rules.
Rio’s northern zone is the scene of frequent and violent clashes between police and drug gangs battling for territorial control. Pictured: Rio de Janeiro military police in Penha, 2023
“But we found out that there had been a theft of a mobile phone belonging to 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 where he became unconscious.”
They said construction workers had to resuscitate the man and called an ambulance. While waiting for it to arrive, the man showed a pin of white powder, which police said was cocaine.
Once at the hospital, the man allegedly admitted that he had spent the night drinking and using drugs with two women.
The case was reported to the 27th Police Station (Vicente de Carvalho) and forwarded to the Special Police Station for Tourist Support (Deat).
British Airways told MailOnline: ‘This is a matter for the police.’
A BA representative added that the crew members would not operate a flight the following day as claimed.”