Breaking Mews Alert: Apawling crime committed in Siberian duty free shop

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.
Martin Moodie

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Shock news reaches The Moodie Blog of the purrfect crime – a male cat eating his way through US$1,100 of gourmet fish products after breaking into an airport duty free shop. And no, I’m not kitten you – this is a true story, an absolute travel retail catastrophe.

According to The Siberian Times, the “gourmet stray was caught red-pawed” munching his way through smoked calamari at Vladivostok International Airport, leading to the gateway being renamed Vladisoutofstock Airport.

That’s bound to have left the cat in a good mewd but equally certain to have cost the owner a few squid. However, things got much worse, according to shop owner Irina Kuzmina, who told the newspaper the full details of the prepawsterous crime: “Not only did he eat plaice, flounder and other flatfish, he also tore packages with dried octopus and other seafood delicacies.”

Well, you can sympathise with the fiendish feline targeting the octo-puss, though it seems to be the airport authority that was floundering. And clearly this was one top cat who knew his plaice in life. However the authorities are hopeful he will eventually be charged with the unclawful crime of fur-glary – and certainly with exceeding his purrsonal duty free allowance. No doubt he also pilchard a few sardines.

“We had to write off all the products that were in that shop window,” Ms Kuzmina wailed. “The food will be dumped. We have also disinfected and cleaned the shop window. All in all, the cat put us out of pocket as products worth 60,000 roubles have been wasted.”

Now that’s quite a hole in the kitty, which is exactly what, we suspect, Ms Kuzmina would have liked to put in the feline filcher. It’s certainly a lot of Roubles (just to digress for a moment, I once knew a bloke called Tommy Rouble. “Tommy, your name spells trouble,” I used to tell him) and I feel if the clearly irate (sorry, Irena) Kuzmina ever gets hold of the poor animal, she may be charged with furst degree purrder. However any good lawyer should be able to get the cat off free, simply by arguing it had good claws for its conduct.

An airport spokesman said: “Pets are banned from being kept at the airport due to safety regulations. We do have a number of passengers travelling with their pets, so perhaps one of them escaped. As of now it is not clear how the cat made its way to the shop window.” Possibly via the escatalator, The Moodie Blog suggests?

Quite why no-one heard the cat causing all the damage (luckily it did not get into the adjacent Chinese delicacy section where it may have caused wonton destruction) is not clear. Perhaps mews travels slowly in Siberia.

FOOTNOTE: The incident is the second example in a few months of an animal wreaking havoc in an airport environment.


As reported by The Moodie Blog, in late 2013 Melbourne Airport experienced a major security incident after an injured male kangaroo, without a boarding card, managed to make its way into an airside chemist’s store.

The injured animal apparently skipped past security to enter the airport after being struck by a car nearby. It was first spotted in the hair-care section of the chemist, taking money out of its pouch as it went to make a purchase of Roo-vlon skincare products.

That incident was the third involving kangaroos at Melbourne Airport in a few months. In the first case Dan Cappell (pictured during the dramatic moment), then General Manager Retail, Car Parks & Wildlife Management (now back at Abu Dhabi Airport) managed to prevent a mother, father and baby family of Kangaroos (identified later as Mr Supial, Ma Supial and baby Joey) from escaping the ground floor car park and heading up to the terminal.


“Goodness knows what would have happened if they had got onto the second level but that’s another storey,” Dan told us, adding roofully that while entering the airside area without a boarding card is a criminal offence in Australia there was no point in charging the kangaroo as it would probably skip bail anyway [it was subsequently warned under Australia’s infamous Prevention of Terrooism Act.]

Asked how such an incident was possible in a security-conscious age, Dan told us: “It’s roo-dimentary. Sometimes we, like the kangaroos, get caught on the hop. But we pouched him and that’s the end of the story.”

Asked if Melbourne Airport was bracing itself or a rush of kangaroo impersonators seeking similar media attention, Cappell said dismissively. “No, they’re just a bunch of wall-a-bies.”

Nonetheless since Dan’s departure, the airport has added warning signage at all carpark entrances, advising drivers about the dangers of stray kangaroos and telling them to check their veer-roo mirrors at all times.

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