Breaking news - fraudsters freed

Travel insurance

Two British law graduates have been acquitted of insurance fraud by Brazil's High Court - just four months after they were convicted.
Shanti Andrews and Rebecca Turner, both 23, were originally arrested in July after claiming to Brazilian police that they had been robbed while on a nine-month trip of the world (see ITIJ issue 104, September 2009, Wish you were here?). The pair were found guilty and sentenced to 16-month jail sentences, which were later converted to community service.
The two women were acquitted following an appeal, during which the court heard that police had obtained information to secure their arrest illegally. Their lawyer Renato Tonini commented: "The police did not observe the rules under Brazilian law to go into somebody's room. They did not have an order from the judge to go into the room. The High Court recognised this and decided to acquit." If the appeal, launched in August, had failed, both women would have faced community service in a hospital or institution for the poor. However, according the Foreign Office, both women have now been given back their passports and are now free to leave Brazil.