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BBC World Cup Journalist Reportedly Drugged, Robbed In Moscow


Russia has strived to put on its best face to host the world's most prestigious soccer tournament.

A BBC correspondent covering the World Cup in Russia has allegedly been drugged and robbed in Moscow, Russian news agencies report.

Moscow police said in a statement that a British citizen sought medical assistance in the Russian capital following an incident in the early hours of July 7.

He told police that while taking a taxi at around 3:30 a.m., he drank coffee that he was offered by unidentified individuals in the vehicle and subsequently passed out, the statement said.

When he awoke, he discovered that his personal belongings were missing, police said.

The police statement did not give the man's name or employer.

But Russia's state-owned TASS news agency quoted an unidentified law enforcement source as saying that the victim was a BBC correspondent who had traveled to Russia to cover the World Cup.

The Russian news agency Interfax, also citing an unidentified source, said the victim was a BBC correspondent.

Moscow police said they had opened a theft-related criminal case in connection with the incident.

Interfax quoted an Interior Ministry spokesperson as saying two suspects had been detained in the case but did not provide further information.

The BBC did not immediately respond to RFE/RL's request for comment on July 7.

But Interfax cited the broadcaster as confirming that an incident involving its employee occurred in Moscow and that the man was fine and continued his work.

Britain's Foreign Office advises that "the spiking of drinks does happen and can lead to robbery" in Russia, which has strived to put on its best face to host the world's most prestigious soccer tournament.

While petty crime does occur in Russia, most visits to the country are "trouble-free," its advisory adds.

With reporting by TASS and Interfax

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