Page last updated at 12:04 GMT, Saturday, 1 August 2009 13:04 UK

Brazil 'fraud' Britons bailed

Shanti Andrews (left) and Rebecca Turner
The women were pictured coming out the Tourist Police office on 27 July

Two British law graduates charged with attempted insurance fraud in Brazil have been granted bail by a judge.

Shanti Andrews and Rebecca Turner, both 23, were originally denied bail because they were foreigners, their lawyer Renato Tonini said.

But on Friday night they were told they would be released from custody on Saturday, following an appeal.

The women claim they were robbed but the police allegedly uncovered some of the items in their Rio hostel room.

'Overcrowded' conditions

Speaking from Rio, Mr Tonini said: "Yes, they have been granted bail. They will be released today but I don't know what time."

The pair had been held in the "tough" Polinter prison, near Rio de Janeiro.

The two, who both studied at the University of Sussex, told police in Rio that belongings totalling £1,000 had been stolen during a bus journey.

 Rebecca Turner and Shanti Andrews
Brazilian police released this picture of the girls in fancy dress

They were arrested on Sunday after officers from a specialist tourist support unit apparently became suspicious that they had waited several days before reporting the robbery.

A subsequent search of their lodgings in the beach district of Copacabana allegedly uncovered some of the items.

On Wednesday the mother of Miss Andrews said it was a "misunderstanding" and asked the Brazilian authorities to show mercy.

Simone Headley, from Frant, East Sussex, said: "The girls had some things stolen and they put a report into the police station," she said.

"There was a misunderstanding - a couple of the items they claimed were then found in their luggage."

The family of Rebecca Turner, from Woolton Hill, near Newbury, Berkshire, declined to comment.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it had not yet been informed of the women gaining bail.



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