An Irishman was drugged and robbed of about $12,000 worth of cash, jewelry and other belongings by a woman he met at a Moscow nightclub, state news agency RIA Novosti reported.
The victim identified himself as an English teacher and translator, a police source told the news agency, adding that the woman, 30, has been detained.
The woman is believed to have slipped a psychotropic drug into the man's drink after the two returned to his apartment on Ulitsa Serafimovicha on Jan. 11, police said Tuesday in an online statement. The only residential building on that street is the landmark House on the Embankment, which overlooks the Kremlin.
Police detained the woman at a cafe on Novy Arbat, a downtown street lined with restaurants and luxury shops. She had previously been accused of similar crimes.
The woman would use various names — Yulia, Alina, Anna, Aziza — when meeting foreigners, the police statement said. She would also give different ages, ranging from 30 to 45, and say she was from various Central Asian countries — Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan — as well as the Russian republic of Tatarstan.
She has been charged with theft, the police statement said. That charge alone is punishable by up to five years in prison if she is found guilty of having harmed the victim, according to Russia's Criminal Code.
The practice of drugging the drinks of unsuspecting victims ran rampant in the early post-Soviet era. One of Moscow's main hospitals, Sklifosovsky, handled 200 cases a year of people imbibing drugged drinks in the 1990s, and the U.S. Embassy used to warn Americans in Moscow about the possibility of consuming laced beverages and being robbed.