Russian President Vladimir Putin is officially a jewelry thief.
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Putin brazenly stole his Super Bowl ring in 2005. The 4.94-carat ring is worth more than $25,000.
“I took out the ring and showed it to [Putin], and he put it on and he goes, ‘I can kill someone with this ring,'” Kraft told the crowd on Thursday at Carnegie Hall’s Medal of Excellence gala at the Waldorf-Astoria, according to the New York Post. “I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out.”
Kraft had previously said the ring was a gift from him to Putin, but acknowledged President George W. Bush’s White House pressured him to say that.
Kraft released a statement at the time that said, “President Putin, a great and knowledgable sports fan, was clearly taken with its uniqueness. I decided to give him the ring as a symbol of the respect and admiration that I have for the Russian people and [his] leadership.”
The Patriots owner said someone from Bush’s White House said, “‘It would really be in the best interest of US-Soviet relations if you meant to give the ring as a present.”
Kraft said he did not want to give the ring to Putin as a gift because he “had an emotional tie to the ring, it has my name on it. I don’t want to see it on eBay.” He then said, “There was a pause on the other end of the line, and the voice repeated, ‘It would really be in the best interest if you meant to give the ring as a present.'”
The ring is now reportedly in the Kremlin library.