By Peter Orengo
The government of Russia has disowned a man arrested last week stealing money from an ATM in Nairobi.
The man, who first claimed he was a Russian diplomat was found with 107 ATM cards and Sh140,000, which he had withdrawn.
In a letter to newsrooms, Russian ambassador to Kenya Valery Yegoshkin said the person did not have a diplomatic identification card or passport, which would have proved his citizenship.
"It follows from the article published in the newspaper issue of January 16, 2010 that the suspect could be a citizen of any country but not Russia and confirms that there was no necessity in spreading the incorrect information," said the Ambassador.
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He denied media reports that the man was Russian. "Without taking any steps to check the information as to the person’s identity or to consult the Russian Embassy, the article disgraced the Russian diplomatic service and damaged the friendly Russian-Kenya relations," Yegoshkin said.
The suspect was found withdrawing the money from CFC Stanbic Bank on Kimathi Street on Thursday morning. He had a laptop and electronic Visa cards when security officers at the bank became suspicious.
The ATM cards belonged to different banks and were believed to have been stolen.
Meanwhile, the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Nairobi is in the process of verifying the man’s identity.
His advocate Cliff Ombeta yesterday told the trial magistrate Gilbert Mutembei that he had forwarded the man’s Bulgarian passport to Immigration Department for verification.