S Africa hotel workers steal from Columbia team

Johannesburg: Police arrested two hotel workers on charges of stealing from Colombia`s national soccer team, in South Africa for a friendly match ahead of next month`s World Cup, the Times newspaper reported on Friday.

"Two female employees of the plush Hyde Park Southern Sun Hotel, in northern Johannesburg, were arrested and appeared in court...charged with stealing 21,000 rand (USD 2,743) worth of US dollars from members of the team on Monday," the national newspaper said.

Security and crime have been major issues ahead of the World Cup because of South Africa`s high rate of violent crime. Crime is among the factors blamed for lower-than-expected foreign bookings to attend the tournament.

The Times said the women had allegedly stolen the cash from the Colombian team`s suitcases at the hotel, which will host Slovenia`s World Cup squad due from June 8.

The accused appeared in court on Thursday but were not asked to plead.

In June last year Egypt`s soccer team said some players had had their hotel rooms burgled and wallets stolen during the Confederations Cup tournament in South Africa.

Bureau Report

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