• Sweden edition
 
Plot thickens over Russian pantyhose probe

Plot thickens over Russian pantyhose probe

Published: 16 Dec 2009 12:36 GMT+01:00
Updated: 16 Dec 2009 12:36 GMT+01:00

“They’ve presented the story in a way which deliberately sullies the diplomat’s reputation,” Swedish foreign ministry spokesperson Anders Jörle told The Local.

The comments come following a report by Russia’s NTV television which shows the 35-year-old Swedish diplomat unloading cartons of nylon stockings from a car bearing diplomatic plates and standing behind the counter of a kiosk in Moscow where the hosiery was being sold.

The diplomat was subsequently arrested and taken in for questioning by Russian police, who accused the the Swede of selling stockings smuggled into Russia from Belarus.

During the interrogation, the diplomat admitted to involvement in the stocking trade.

Speaking with the TT news agency, a unnamed source from the foreign ministry described the 35-year-old as a capable diplomat.

The source went on to suggest that the Russians had elected to spread the story about the Swedish diplomat’s extracurricular activities in response to an incident last week during which the wife of a Russian diplomat in Stockholm was accused of shoplifting.

But Jörle denied that the foreign ministry was working from the theory that the supposedly biased Russian news reports were part of a diplomatic tit-for-tat.

“I’ve never said that there is a connection between the two incidents,” he said.

“They both happened, but I can’t say whether they’re connected.”

Jörle nevertheless confirmed the foreign ministry’s assertion that the Russian news report failed to provide a complete picture of the incident.

“They don’t give all the details which we have access to surrounding the incident, some of which aren’t very flattering for the Russians,” he said.

However, Jörle refused to elaborate on exactly what about the Swedish diplomat’s purveyance of pantyhose might make Russian officials uncomfortable.

“I’m not going to get into it,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Russian embassy in Stockholm, Anatoly Kargapolov, confirmed that police were called to a Stockholm store last week after alarms went off when the wife of a Russian diplomat was leaving the shop.

“It was not a case of shoplifting,” Kargapolov told The Local.

He explained that the woman stayed in the store after the exit alarms sounded, but that store employees couldn’t understand her because she didn’t speak English or Swedish and that she didn’t have any diplomatic identification with her.

“The police were called, but our consular representative eventually showed up and the whole matter was cleared up at the store,” he said.

“It would be a mistake to connect the two incidents,” he added, emphasizing that the Russian embassy would rather move forward than dwell on the alleged misdeeds of the Swedish diplomat.

“We regret that this happened. What’s most important for us is not to have this incident affect our bilateral relations,” he said.

According to Jörle, the Swedish foreign ministry plans to investigate the incident, but added that no further disciplinary action is currently planned for the 35-year-old diplomat.

He also had little to say as to why the diplomat was involved in selling stockings in the first place.

“That’s a good question,” he said.

“All I can say is that, from what we understand, it isn’t something that can earn a person much money.”

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

14:01 December 16, 2009 by Kaethar
Is it April 1st already? This story has got to be a joke. :D
14:16 December 16, 2009 by Lea
Yeah, life in Moscow ain't cheap. Every cent matters....

Just how much, I wonder, does this diplomat get in the yearly income from the Foreign Office?
16:07 December 16, 2009 by peropaco
Better this than being accused of peddling organs from dead Belarusians kids. Talk about smear campaign. While most doplomat are involved in spying, Sweden send theirs to sell pantyhose...How low can it get!
06:00 December 17, 2009 by crunchy2k
I bet he was selling pantyhose just to meet chicks........LOL..... And do a little information gathering from working women.
11:51 December 17, 2009 by DavidtheNorseman
Ah the deadly hoisery trade! Soon Russian women everywhere will have warmer legs. They will get used to this decadent Western luxury. The Russian Empire will topple!

Surely this is some part of a Swedish plot to regain Finland!

(They won't be the first or last person to throw away a good career for a few extra euros.....Young people take note.)
12:03 December 17, 2009 by xenu
Pantyhose! really? Fetish, Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh
12:13 December 17, 2009 by salalah
Plot thickens - sounds like a novel. Russian diplomat wife tries to steal stockings... maybe???

Feels like we are back in the communist era when women in Russia did anything to get a pair and a pair on the streets was worth more than gold. :)
15:54 December 17, 2009 by wenddiver
Leave the guy alone. The hell with all these Russian laws. Russians have went around the world giving weapons to ever psycho in the world, but their police prevent the distrution of panty hose????

Make the man the Swedish Consulate in Miami, Florida where smuggling experience will be considered a plus with the locals.
22:19 December 17, 2009 by wxman
"The mystery surrounding why exactly a Swedish diplomat was selling smuggled pantyhose in a Moscow kiosk." I'm no crime sleuth, but let me take a stab at it - - for the money??
15:54 December 18, 2009 by DStrope
were they "used" pantyhose or new ones? really who cares!!! Russia get with the program, women wear pantyhose!!!!!
Today's headlines
Sweden Floods
Flood chaos continues with more rain forecast
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Flood chaos continues with more rain forecast

UPDATED: Sweden's floods are set to continue over the weekend with the national weather agency predicting more showers for some of the affected areas. READ  

Elections 2014
Reinfeldt better at handling a crisis: Poll

Reinfeldt better at handling a crisis: Poll

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt's hopes for remaining in office has been given a boost after more Swedes said they had greater faith in him handling a crisis compared to election rival Stefan Löfven. READ  

Gaza & Robin Williams: Swedes' Google habits
Actor Robin Williams. Photo: AP

Gaza & Robin Williams: Swedes' Google habits

The internet search giant has revealed what Swedes googled for most over the summer period with the top 10 made up of diverse search topics ranging from sport to wasp stings READ  

Dad jailed for assaulting his infant twin sons
Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Dad jailed for assaulting his infant twin sons

A man in central Sweden was sentenced to prison for aggravated assault on Friday after doctors noticed that both his twin sons had sustained serious and unexplained injuries. READ  

Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Clocking in. File photo: Shutterstock

Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial

Officials finalized plans on Friday for the "Gothenburg guinea pigs" who will test out the six-hour workday, a move it's hoped will cut down on sick leave, boost efficiency, and ultimately save Sweden money. READ  

Armed royal guards caught drunk on the job
Photo: Gunnar Lundmark/TT

Armed royal guards caught drunk on the job

Three Swedish soldiers risk prison after they were found to be drunk while guarding Stockholm's Royal Palace. The men, who were all armed at the time, were charged on Friday. READ  

Stockholm
What do the Swedes do when summer's over?
Photo: Isabela Vrba

What do the Swedes do when summer's over?

The heatwave is well and truly over, the days are getting shorter, and winter is coming. With this in mind, The Local's Isabela Vrba chatted to ten Stockholmers about how they plan to tackle the autumn. READ  

Swedes spend fortune on nail polish trend
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Swedes spend fortune on nail polish trend

Swedes are spending more than ever on makeup - and a growing chunk is going directly to their fingernails, new figures showed on Friday. READ  

Sweden mulls stripping paracetamol from shops
The pharmacy section of a grocery store. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden mulls stripping paracetamol from shops

After a drastic increase in the number of paracetamol poisonings in Sweden, authorities have said the drug should only be available in pharmacies. READ  

Listeria fears prompt meat recall in Sweden
File photo: Andreas Hagerman/Flickr

Listeria fears prompt meat recall in Sweden

After finding traces of listeria in ham sold in Sweden, food companies decided on Friday to recall several Danish cold cuts. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Blog updates

17 August

Sea Fever (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I’m going to keep this post short and sweet as its not something I take any pleasure in writing. After much deliberation I have made the heartbreaking decision to abandon my trip after 1200km due to reoccurring injury. It is not a decision I have made lightly and it is one that has been truly devastating..." READ »

 

17 August

St. Louis strong (Blogweiser) »

"It’s typically a bad sign when my hometown makes news in Sweden. St. Louis was in the headlines here a few years ago when a tornado struck the airport. The city also caught attention after a politician talked about ‘legitimate rape’. Now, shooting and riots this week in Ferguson, a part of St. Louis, are..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
"Iraq reminds me of the Yugoslav wars. It's the same story."
Society
Swedes slam Danes for 'racist' art
National
Majority of Swedes favour more or just as many refugees
Society
Lock your bathrooms: Swedish toilet invader on the the loose
Politics
'Assange will not leave until safe'
Gallery
See more images from the southern Sweden floods
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Society
Serial chicken smuggler caught at Norway border. Again.
Society
This gold coin may be the key to solving a Swedish massacre
Shutterstock
Lifestyle
The Swedish mentor (and why you may need one)
Politics
Reinfeldt calls for tolerance to refugees
Gallery
People-watching August 16-17
National
Sweden celebrates 200 years of peace
Society
Top ten literal Swedish words
Politics
'Terror training should be illegal': Liberal Party
Gallery
Swedes talk about 200 years of national peace
Politics
Islamic extremist shakes Sweden with TV threat
National
Teacher fined for 'Hitler salute' in German class
Features
Kiruna residents talk life in a town on the move
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

729
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se