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Kazakhstan diplomats were fooled by an imposter in RSA: Foreign Minister

16 october 2013, 23:34
Kazakhstan Foreign Ministry ©Marat Abilov
Kazakhstan Foreign Ministry ©Marat Abilov
The armed robbery of the Kazakhstan delegation in the Republic of South Africa last week was an extortion played on them by some local imposter who presented to be an African official, Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrisov is quoted by Tengrinews as saying today.

Part of Kazakhstan's delegation that arrived in RSA to prepare President Nazarbayev's first visit to the African country was robbed on Wednesday evening last week after a group of armed people blocked the delegation's cars on their way for the international airport of Johannesburg to Pretoria. None of the delegation members got hurt.

"It wasn't an actual robbery, just an incident. When a part of our delegation was driving (from the airport) a group of people impersonating government officials requested them to produce their cash, cellphones and other belongings. To prevent any outrage, not knowing what means of convincing those people might be carrying, our diplomats chose to comply (...). So in essence, our diplomats were fooled by some imposter. Our diplomats acted wisely by not heating up the situation. They have all returned safely. All of them are alive and well, so the incident is over," Minister Idrisov told the journalists after today's government meeting in the Senate.

RSA authorities have apologized to Kazakhstan at the highest level, he added.

"Naturally, after the incident was over, it was reported to the RSA authorities. They have done everything possible to aid the delegation, compensated the lost belongings and apologized at the highest level. They felt very bad about the incident," the Minister said.

When asked if the imposter had been arrested he said: "No, he has not been arrested. No one in RSA knows who that was. He is laying low. A real crook he is."

By Renat Tashkinbayev

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