Britons win appeal over Brazil insurance fraud

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The Independent US

Courts Two British law graduates held in Brazil for insurance fraud have been acquitted after an appeal. Shanti Andrews and Rebecca Turner, both 23, were arrested in July after telling police they had been robbed while backpacking.

Ms Andrews, from Frant, near Tunbridge Wells, Kent, and Ms Turner, from Woolton Hill, near Newbury, Berkshire, pleaded guilty to attempted insurance fraud and were sentenced to 16 months in prison. A judge later converted the punishment to community service.

Lawyers for the two University of Sussex graduates, who have been staying in an apartment in Rio de Janeiro, lodged an appeal in August when two further charges were added. Brazil's high court in Brasilia yesterday found police had obtained information to secure their arrest illegally and overturned the convictions. Lawyer Renato Tonini said: "The girls are obviously very happy. They could not believe it happened like this."