A Lebanese man is accused of scamming World Cup fans from Saudi Arabia out of $250,000, the Russian news agency TASS reported.
The Lebanese citizen, who resided in Moscow, was charged with fraud in absentia for the alleged scam. The unidentified man is now on the run.
According to TASS, the Lebanese man told Saudi fans he would arrange a flight from Moscow to the southern city of Volgograd in return for 15.6 million rubles, or $252,000.
After he collected the money, the man vanished and could not be reached.
“The police have found out that a Lebanese native registered in Moscow was behind this crime,” a source told the TASS news agency. “He has been charged in absentia, measures are being taken to detain him.”
Russian news agency Interfax reported that a Saudi man gave the suspect about 220,000 euros on June 24. The suspect said he would arrange for flights from the man and his friends.
The fans were set to travel to Volgograd to watch Saudi Arabia play Egypt in their final World Cup group phase match.
Saudi Arabia won the match 2-1.