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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

Former Arsenal footballer Kanu has $11,000 stolen from check-in luggage as he arrives in Russia for World Cup

Two baggage handlers at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport detained over the incident involving the Nigerian's baggage

Former Arsenal footballer Nwankwo Kanu had money taken from his luggage as he arrived in Nigeria for the World Cup. Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images
Former Arsenal footballer Nwankwo Kanu had money taken from his luggage as he arrived in Nigeria for the World Cup. Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

Russian police have detained two baggage handlers at a Moscow airport on suspicion of taking cash worth US$11,000 (Dh40,300) from former Arsenal footballer Nkwankwo Kanu's check-in luggage as he flew from London to the World Cup host country.

The world's top football players and thousands of foreign fans are set to converge on Russia for the World Cup from June 14 to July 15.

Kanu, 41, who played for Arsenal and captained Nigeria's national side, travelled to Russia to play a friendly organised by Fifa in Kaliningrad, one of the 11 host cities, alongside former England international Wes Brown and former Brazilian international Cafu.

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He flew from London to Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport before taking a connecting flight to Kaliningrad, the regional centre of the Russian exclave in Europe bordered by Poland and Lithuania.

He reported the missing money when he arrived at his hotel and discovered it was not in his luggage. It was not immediately clear why he was carrying that amount in cash.

Police said they had detained two men on Sunday who had handled check-in luggage for a flight from London to Moscow.

"The stolen money has been seized and will soon be returned to its owner," Irina Volk, a police spokeswoman said in comments on the Interior Ministry website.

Police did not name Kanu in their statement, but the police press service told Russian news agencies Kanu was the victim of the theft.

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