Russia's Chechen Republic President Ramzan Kadyrov on Wednesday mocked Czech police following the alleged theft of his sanctioned racehorse from stables near Prague and said he suspected "foul play" in the incident.
Czech media reported on Tuesday that a horse named Zazou, believed to be owned by Kadyrov and stuck in the Czech Republic since 2014 when the Chechen leader was targeted by Western sanctions in wake of the Crimea episode, had "vanished without a trace" from its stable in Krabcice village last week and local police were probing, RT reported.
As per authorities, a chain securing the stable doors had been removed and Zazou taken away, presumably at night.
"How is that even possible? Had he been kept on some remote farm where one could just take him so easily? Where's the security? Where are the brave police with their democratically efficient and advanced investigative techniques?" the Chechen leader wrote on Telegram on Wednesday.
He said anyone "can leave their car open at night" without having to worry in Chechnya, and expressed surprise that a sanctioned horse could disappear in a European country with "the police learning about it only several days later".
"I don't believe in coincidences. Those horse thieves are unique: stupid enough to steal a sanctioned mount, yet cunning enough not to be found by the police. I don't buy it."
Kadyrov also urged Czech officials and media, who said Zazou had cost $18,000, not to underestimate the value of his horse. "Surely this artificial underestimation is a result of some financial schemes by those responsible for his upkeeping," he claimed, adding that the 16-year-old thoroughbred mount, which he reportedly bought in Dubai back in 2011, cost at least $10 million.
"Having learned its real price, someone will now make a big buck," he said.
Kadyrov added that he was sorry "a beautiful and noble animal" had to suffer as a result of these unfortunate events. "I'm concerned that Zazou may end up in bad hands," he wrote.
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