NOVOSIBIRSK, October 28 (RIA Novosti) - A pensioner couple from west Siberia have reported the theft of some $17 million from a Moscow flat, a police source told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
The Novosibirsk couple, 83-year-old Nikolai Rovbel and his wife, 72-year-old Zoya, filed the suit after their lawyer reported on Monday the disappearance of $6 million and 7 million euros in cash from his rented flat in an ordinary residential area of southeast Moscow.
The incident has been labeled the "theft of the century" by the Russian media.
The couple inherited the money from their unmarried and childless son, who recently died at the age of 47. Sergei Rovbel was the head of the Russian Krastonnel construction company.
It is still not clear why lawyer Eugene Skoblikov, a former assistant to Sergei who was working on formalizing the inheritance, took the money out of the bank and brought it to his flat, where he kept it in a number of suitcases. $6 million in $100 bills would weigh around 70 kgs, a Bank of Russia official told the Rossiskaya Gazeta paper.
Another police source told the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper that the stolen money was just a fraction of the some $500 million that the couple had inherited.
"The pensioners thought at first that they had been cleaned out," the source was quoted as saying. "But then, when they heard what the sum involved was, they calmed down. They said that they have $200 million and 200 million euros on their account."
"They knew their son was rich," the source went on, 'but they didn't know he was that rich!"
The source also added that the couple said they had simply asked Skoblikov to deal with bank paperwork in Moscow and bring the documents back to Siberia.