Vasco midfielder Bernardo tortured in Rio slum

Rio de Janeiro, April 27 (IANS) Police here are investigating the kidnapping and torture of Vasco da Gama midfielder Bernardo.

The 22-year-old was reportedly held by drug traffickers earlier this week after being seen with Daiane Rodrigues, the girlfriend of notorious drug trafficker Marcelo Santos, in the Mare slum in Rio’s north, reports Xinhua.

After being kidnapped by members of Santos’ gang, Bernardo and Rodrigues were taken to Timbau Hill, where they were bound and beaten.

Bernardo suffered electric shocks and punches to the head while Rodrigues was shot in the leg, Brazil’s O Globo reported Friday.

Police said both suffered only minor injuries and were released from hospital Thursday.

Local media reported Bernardo fled Rio de Janeiro Friday while both he and Rodrigues have refused to speak to police for fear of repercussions.

Vasco’s sporting director Rene Simoes said the club would provide all the support the player needed.

“I’ve spoken to Bernardo and our priority is to give full support to the player,” Simoes said. “Of course the club does not want its name involved in anything other than sporting matters but Bernardo will receive all the help he requires while legal proceedings take place.”

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