Three tourists admit they made up attack story in New Zealand

19th February 2008, Comments 0 comments

Two Dutch tourists and an Italian admitted in a New Zealand court Tuesday that they made up a story about being attacked and robbed at gunpoint.

19 February 2008

WELLINGTON - Two Dutch tourists and an Italian admitted in a New Zealand court Tuesday that they made up a story about being attacked and robbed at gunpoint to cover up damage to the camper van they hired, news reports said.

Johan van de Lande, 21; Bart Stevens, 23; and Antonino Salamone, 30, pleaded guilty to a charge of making a false complaint when they appeared in Christchurch District Court.

Police said they had claimed armed robbers had smashed the window of the van while they slept and stole money, cameras and audio equipment.

But customs officials found the reportedly stolen goods in their luggage Monday as they tried to leave the country, Radio New Zealand reported.

Their lawyer said the men had been involved in a road rage incident and a driver they had inadvertently cut off smashed their window and kicked the van's door.

The three defendants, who were reported to be living in Australia, were convicted and discharged without penalty after the judge was told they had no money to pay a fine.

[Copyright dpa 2008]

Subject: Dutch news

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