Chilean journalist Diego Saez, who traveled to Moscow to cover the ongoing FIFA Confederations Cup, was scammed out of 50,000 rubles (roughly US$900) on Thursday morning by a Russian taxi driver.
Saez, who works for Chilean radio station ADN, was exhausted after an overnight flight that began in Romania, ESPN reported. It was there that Chile played their last friendly match prior to the start of the Confederations Cup.
From Romania, Saez flew to Munich. He then catched a connecting flight to Moscow. Once in the Russian capital, he was picked up by a taxi cab driver at Domodedovo airport, where he embarked on a one-hour car ride to his hotel.
Saez admitted that when the motorist set the fee, he took no precaution to calculate the exchange rate. Upon reaching the hotel and prior to exiting the vehicle, he called a colleague to look into the fee he paid.
Learning that he had been scammed, Saez resorted to, in his own words, “arguing (…) to get my money back.” But the driver refused, insisting that the mutually agreed upon fare be upheld.
Despite the ongoing dispute, Saez, according to CNN Football, snapped a photo of the vehicle's license plate while the taxi driver dropped Saez's bags at the hotel's entrance.
With assistance from hotel management, Saez called the police. CNN Football reported that Russian authorities interviewed him until about 5 a.m. that day.
On Friday, Saez was invited to a local police station where he learned that the taxi cab driver was detained. The astronomical cab fare had been returned.
Saez said that the jailed driver “offered to drive me around for free during the whole tournament, but I refused.”
Russia is hosting this year's Confederation Cup. Qualifying teams in the competition include Russia, New Zealand, Portugal, Mexico, Cameroon, Chile, Australia and Germany.