Rio de Janeiro - Brazilian police were on Tuesday investigating whether the younger sister of Brazil footballer Hulk had been kidnapped, amid press reports that she had been seized by armed gunmen.
One police officer was quoted as saying by the daily Correio that Angelica Aparecida Vieira, 22, had been alone in a car outside a restaurant in Campina Grande, in northeast Brazil, on Monday when she was taken.
No contact has been made with the woman's family, who have reportedly asked the police not to intervene due to fears for her life.
"We are waiting for a contact but they seem to prefer silence for now," Vieira's mother, Maria do Socorro, was quoted as saying.
Media reports said that Hulk, who signed in September for Russian champions Zenit Saint Petersburg, had been informed. He is currently sidelined with a calf injury.
Hulk, 26, arrived at Zenit on a reported transfer of €60m from Portuguese side Porto to spearhead the club's European ambitions.
But his high salary - reportedly €6.5m a year - sparked a rebellion among Russian players.
Zenit spokesperson Yevgeny Gusel told reporters on Tuesday that the player was still in Saint Petersburg and receiving treatment to the injury he sustained in last Friday's win against Rostov in the Russian Premier League.
But he added: "The club is ready to allow Hulk to go to Brazil if necessary."