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Swedish envoy in Russian pantyhose probe

Swedish envoy in Russian pantyhose probe

Published: 15 Dec 2009 07:41 GMT+01:00
Updated: 15 Dec 2009 11:19 GMT+01:00

A Swedish diplomat has left his post in Moscow after police interrogated him about allegedly selling women's stockings smuggled from Belarus, according to Russian television.

Citing the foreign ministry and police sources, the NTV television channel on Monday aired footage that it claimed showed a diplomat who works in the Swedish Embassy's economics section being filmed during a police raid at a shop in southwestern Moscow selling tights.

The blond man was shown recommending some tights to a woman customer, before telling police he had brought the tights from Belarus in his car, which was shown to have diplomatic license plates.

According to the TT news agency, the television segment also includes excerpts of the interview between Russian police and the 35-year-old Swedish diplomat.

Investigator: Where did you get these goods from?

Diplomat: From my car.

Investigator: You mean, from your car with diplomatic plates?

Diplomat: Yes. I realize this is a bad situation

Investigator: This isn’t a ‘bad situation’. It’s called smuggling.

A Russian foreign ministry official, Nikolai Sandros, said in remarks broadcast on NTV that the diplomat had left Moscow.

"The Swedish side has taken a decision to end the work of (the official) at the Swedish Embassy in Moscow and he has already left Russia," said Sandros, who oversees the ministry's section for managing foreign diplomats.

A spokesman for the Swedish Embassy in Moscow told AFP he could not comment on the report Monday evening.

Police official Alexei Gnatyuk, head of a section that investigates economic crimes in southwestern Moscow, told NTV that police could not arrest the Swede due to diplomatic immunity and had informed the foreign ministry about the case.

On Tuesday, Sweden’s foreign ministry refused to issue any statement on the diplomat’s less-than-graceful departure from Moscow.

“No comment,” foreign ministry spokesperson Anders Jörle told TT.

“There’s simply nothing to say,” he added.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:52 December 15, 2009 by izbz
This diplomat should be station in Malaysia, Singapore and HongKong, he can sell pantyhose in the night market. Disgrace to Sweden, as if he is paid to little.
09:23 December 15, 2009 by peropaco
Roflmsao, poor fella, maybe he should start an vodka import business upon his return and compete with system
10:24 December 15, 2009 by Beynch
The story does not reveal if he was also wearing them.
10:58 December 15, 2009 by TheSupercargo
The more I read this, the less likely it seems. The Russian propaganda machine swatting several flies (Sweden + EU, foreign diplomats, foreign profiteers, Bellarus) all with one story.
11:41 December 15, 2009 by Bensonradar
"A Swedish diplomat has left his post in Moscow police after interrogated him about allegedly selling..."

Try: ""A Swedish diplomat has left his post in Moscow after police interrogated him about allegedly selling..."
12:07 December 15, 2009 by peropaco
Bensonradar. Dont to too hard on tHe LoCal. We know they use google language translator and they dont even bother to re-read ;-))))))
12:55 December 15, 2009 by Nemesis
A swede tried to make some extra money. He has shown initiative.

As a diplomat he shoud not have been involved in business in another country. That is an abuse of diplomatic piviledge.

However it is good to see a Swede try to use his own initiative and open up a new business venue.

Aso the local needs to stop using google translator and actually read the original russian press releases as their is a lot more to this story, which led to this diplomat beig declared person not gratus.
13:16 December 15, 2009 by Bensonradar
Peropaco. Yes, I used an online translator service to change English to Swedish and emailed it to Swedish friend in Umea. He fell over laughing and said it was the funniest thing he had read for years.

But, good on The Local. It's great to have Swedish news in English. However, it's nice to help out with the proofreading. I see they have changed it already.
14:52 December 15, 2009 by salalah
Nemesis:

It is called "Persona non grata" (stop using the google translator yourself :)

As for the diplomat: This shows Swedes do not have better morals than the rest of the world, as they may want to pretend...
16:49 December 15, 2009 by skatty
The most ridicules thing, I have ever heard a diplomat might do. I heard some Swedish diplomat sold Swedish passport in few developing countries before, but women's stocking is really …..!
19:30 December 15, 2009 by hjoian
absolutely hiliarious
19:33 December 15, 2009 by jose_s
Is that an IKEA bag?
21:05 December 15, 2009 by Michael84
Sounds like Russian are angry at Sverige.
21:43 December 15, 2009 by Beynch
What kind were they? Black fishnets WITH seems? Or without?
22:33 December 15, 2009 by Zhorka
Why not to name the guy? He is Anders Forss, first secretary of the economics department in Swedish embassy in Moscow.

The video is here (click on picture to play):

http://www.ntv.ru/novosti/182051/#tn2
00:06 December 16, 2009 by laura ka baal
pray to god police did!nt questioned him for homosexual activity for which swedes are champion.
10:22 December 16, 2009 by izbz
@Nemesis

Agreed with you about the 'initiative' part

Always have great respect for those who have initiative to make money, respect those who played music in the subways even if they are playing the same song over and over again (at least they are doing smoething) instead of just stretching out their hands begging.

But a diplomat earn lots of pengar and have the initiative to selling smuggled pantyhose????

Can't really digest that!!
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