Abusive US pilot arrested in Brazil

An American Airlines pilot has been arrested in Brazil for making an obscene gesture at immigration officers.

    The American crew was resentful of the tough checks

    The pilot, Dale Robin Hirsch, raised his middle finger at police at the Sao Paulo International Airport to protest recently introduced Brazilian security measures that require US citizens to be fingerprinted and photographed upon entering the country.

    The Brazilian measure introduced from 1 January was in retaliation for a similar US procedure, which requires fingerprinting and photographing visitors who need visas for the US.

    Visitors to the US have often complained of "harassment" at American airports.

    Bad behaviour

    "Hirsch behaved in a mocking manner toward federal police and made an internationally recognised obscene gesture while he was being photographed for identification," Sao Paulo's police chief, Francisco Baltazar da Silva said.

    Ten crew members from the same American Airlines flight 907 from Miami were also denied entry to Brazil after refusing to cooperate with security officials.

    American Airlines said it regretted the incident and was looking into the matter.

    "The company apologises to the Brazilian government, the airport authorities, the police, or anyone else who perceived anything they believed to have been disrespectful," the airline said in a statement.

    "The captain and other crew members certainly meant no disrespect," it added.

    The incident came a day after Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva appealed to US President George Bush to suspend visa requirements so the two countries could drop the fingerprint checks.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Venezuela in default: What next?

    Venezuela in default: What next?

    As the oil-rich country fails to pay its debt, we examine what happens next and what it means for its people.

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The number of Muslims in South Korea is estimated to be around 100,000, including foreigners.

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    There are reports Saudi Arabia is demanding money from the senior officials it recently arrested.