Four men charged over kidnapping of Hulk's sister

2012-12-14 01:56:24 GMT2012-12-14 09:56:24(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian prosecutors have charged four men in connection with last month's kidnapping of the sister of Brazil international striker Hulk.

Restaurateur Elio Pereira da Silva, security guard Jose Eliton de Melo Santos and students Victor Hugo Henrique da Silva and Rodolfo Bruno Barbosa Souza are in custody and awaiting trial in the northeastern city of Campina Grande, Brazilian daily O Globo reported on Thursday.

Pereira, the owner of the restaurant where Vieira worked as a nutritionist, is accused of orchestrating the kidnapping.

According to prosecutor Marcus Antonius da Silva Leite, he tricked Angelica Aparecida Vieira de Souza into accompanying him to a work-related conference on November 6.

Instead the 22-year-old was taken to a private property where she was gagged and held at gunpoint by the men.

The following day Vieira convinced De Melo to release her, promising that he would be paid his share of the ransom demand of 300,000 US dollars.

Hours later De Melo called Vieira demanding the payment. De Melo appeared at the agreed venue on time and was immediately arrested by waiting police, who also located the other three men shortly after.

Hulk, who signed for Zenit St Petersburg for 50 million U.S. dollars in September, is not the first high profile Brazilian footballer to suffer a family kidnapping ordeal.

In 2004 the mother of AC Milan winger Robinho was abducted in the Brazilian coastal city of Praia Grande. She was released 40 days later when Robinho agreed to pay a ransom of 100,000 US dollars.

A decade earlier, the father of Barcelona and Brazil legend Romario was held hostage for a week in Rio de Janeiro before the kidnapper surrendered to police.

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