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Iranian Adventurer Suspends Round the World Trip in São Paulo After Federal Revenue Office Fine

06/23/2015 - 10h18

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FELIPE GUTIERREZ
FROM SÃO PAULO

An Iranian adventurer who is attempting to travel around the world in a unique amphibious vehicle - on land, it works like a bicycle, while at sea, as a kind of pedal boat - was forced to suspend his trip in São Paulo after receiving a fine of US$18,000 from Brazil's Department of Federal Revenue (Receita Federal).

On November 23 last year, Ebrahim Hemmatnia, 38, left Dakar, in Senegal, heading for Fortaleza. On January 28, his pedal boat was damaged in a shark attack. Via radio, he requested help from the Brazilian navy, who rescued him and took him to Natal.

From Natal, he rode to São Paulo, where he arrived at the beginning of June. He then discovered that the Federal Revenue Office is fining him US$18,000 (a percentage of the vehicle's declared value), for his having retained the vehicle for longer than permitted.

Hemmatnia has been forced to return to Apeldoorn, in Holland, where he has lived for the last 14 years, in order to seek more funding.

He left Brazil on Tuesday (16), with his bicycle-boat staying behind in São Paulo. He intends to return to Brazil and ride to Argentina, Chile and then to Peru, from where he will cross the Pacific Ocean until he reaches Australia.

"The only risk is the customs officer," he says.

Translated by TOM GATEHOUSE

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