But Hilton was later released without charge - and insists she was not a suspect in the inquiry.
Her rep issued a statement, branding the incident a "complete misunderstanding", adding that another person in the group was the culprit and that authorities have "apologised for wrongfully accusing her".
And the reality TV star seems to have taken the run-in lightly - thanking fans for their support and insisting she loves South Africa.
On her Twitter.com page, Hilton writes, "Hey guys, there's a lot of crazy rumors going around. Just want you all to know the truth.
"Everything is completely fine. I was not charged or arrested, cause (sic) I didn't do anything. I was assisting the police with the investigation and answering their questions. Everyone was super nice and friendly to me.
"I love South Africa! Such an amazing place, especially during The World Cup! Hope that clears everything up. Love you guys, thanks for your concern."