Warsaw: Polish authorities said on late Monday that Russia had detained four of its soldiers on suspicion of stealing credit cards from one of the victims of the plane crash two months ago that killed Poland`s president and 95 others.
A Russian Defense Ministry official declined to comment, but Russia`s two largest news agencies, RIA and Interfax, both quoted unnamed officials in the "armed services" saying at least three ministry servicemen had been detained for using the cards.
Polish prosecutors have been investigating the theft of two credit cards that belonged to Andrzej Przewoznik, a historian who died when the presidential plane crashed in western Russia on April 10.
"I can confirm that we have been informed (by the Russian side) that four soldiers from the units that secured the crash area were detained," a spokeswoman for the Internal Security Agency (ABW) said.
Polish government spokesman Pawel Gras also confirmed that four Russian soldiers had been detained on suspicion of theft, correcting comments he made Sunday that four Interior Ministry servicemen, known as OMON, had been involved.
Polish media have reported that 6,000 zlotys ($1,800) were withdrawn with one of Przewoznik`s cards roughly two hours after the disaster.
Polish Acting President Bronislaw Komorowski asked Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last month to increase security around the sight of the plane crash near Smolensk after Polish reports showed victims` personal belongings unearthed there.
Local media also showed images of civilians collecting items near the wreckage of the plane soon after the accident.
The crash, in which the heads of Poland`s armed forces, its central bank governor and many other senior officials were also killed, caused shock and grief in Russia as well as in Poland and raised hopes of better relations between the two countries.