Ex-Nigerian international Nwankwo Kanu had 8,000 pounds (9,100 euros) stolen from his suitcase on his arrival at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport from London, according to a report by British newspaper The Mirror, which cites a source from the Russian Interior Ministry. The 41-year-old ex-Arsenal star did not realise the money had been taken until he had arrived at his hotel in Kalingrad, where he then reported the theft to the Russian authorities.
The interior ministry has stated that the thieves have been identified as two airport baggage handlers, who have now been detained and face up to six years in prison. “The stolen cash was removed (from the loaders) and will soon be returned to the owner," said spokeswoman, Lieutenant colonel Irina Volk.
Kanu, 'Nigeria will be a big suprise'
Kanu had travelled to Kalingrad to take part in a legends match organized to promote the World Cup. The former Arsenal striker didn't make any comments about the robbery, but did speak about the Nigerian team ahead of their opening World Cup game against Croatia on June 16.
"Nigeria will be a big surprise, for sure. We have good young and talented players; they are hungry for victories and want to do well – for themselves and for the country,” he told the media in Kalingrad.
During his footballing career, Kanu played for European giants such as Ajax, Inter Milan and Arsenal, and earned 87 caps for his country. He played in two World Cups in 2002 and 2010, and was part of the Nigeria team that won gold in football in Atlanta in 1996.