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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Brush with the Militia....

...or the penalties of being helpful!

Strolling down my street on the way home from work, a guy rushed past me and I suddenly heard a wee plop on the street. I looked and found that it was a bunch of tightly folded dollars! I shouted after the guy. Another guy had just walked past me and told me it was the man in front. He came back and thanked us profusely - the money had fallen out of his open wallet. Guy number two muttered something about 'crazy Russians' and we were still in muttered conversation about it, when...

A few seconds later he turned back again and said he had lost two wee bundles of cash, had we seen the other one. (Luckily, oh thank goodness, how luckily, the second chap was still there). We said no and the loser asked us several times; he seemed to think we had taken the money - but he was polite enough about it. We vehemently denied that we had the other bit of money. Then suddenly guy No 3 sidled up, and identified himself as 'Militia' flashing some document. Well, I nearly died!

He asked if there was a problem, we said no, the Russian explained the situation. We all had to show our passports; the Ukrainian had his, the Russian had his in the hotel, and I had my UK driving license, which was enough. We had to turn out all our pockets and wallets - they looked through everything, but did not find anything (I have so many pockets it was only half of them they found; they made me take off my backpack but realised that in that split second of the incident I could not have slipped it off, and put money into it). Thank goodness I did not have any dollars on me - but I noticed the Russian looked at the numbers of the Ukrainian's dollars and confirmed that they were not his. Who on earth memorises the numbers of their bank notes?

In the end the Ukrainian and Russian wandered off together, and the militiaman apologised to me. Gee, who would want to help a guy?

3 comments:

varske said...

Jesus, you were lucky with honest Militia and a passer by. That's a wellknown scam to have a guy drop some notes in front of somebody and then when they hand the notes back, to accuse them of stealing part of the notes. Or even in the confusion just to nick some belongings. Sometimes they are even in league with the militia man.

varske said...

It's a variation of the no 1 scam out of 10 well known Kiev scams listed here http://kievukraine.info/kiev_scams.htm

violainvilnius said...

oh my god, yes, indeed. That would explain why guy No 1 and guy No 2 went off together...I thought guy No 2 was going to help No 1 to look for the rest of his dosh...I was very lucky!

My colleagues said I should ask to go to the next police station next time someone wants to check if I have their things....