”Shaken To The Core”: Kerala Doctor Loses Money And Passport To Pickpockets In Italy

Losing a wallet, or a passport in a foreign country can truly be a terrifying and stressful experience. Recently, a couple from Kerala went through the same after they lost their passports, credit cards, and cash to pickpockets in Milan, Italy. Notably, Jothydev Kesavadev, a physician and diabetes researcher, and his wife Sunitha visited the country to present a research paper in Florence.

The incident happened on March 5 when the couple was entering Milan Central railway station in Italy to take a train to Florence. On the way, “a tall, lean African-American man” bumped into him.

”His large trolley bag hit my right knee and I almost fell. My wife, out of shock forgot the surroundings and bent down to help me out. When I looked back I saw a woman passing by her and then the woman and the man disappeared instantly,” Mr Kesavade wrote in a lengthy X post narrating the incident. 

Later when his wife opened her handbag, she realised that her wallet containing the passports, credit and debit cards and cash was missing. They rushed to the police station and after a long wait, the cop prepared an FIR and asked them to contact the Indian Consulate in Milan. 

The next morning, they reached out to their family friend and MP Shashi Tharoor. ”His response was quick and powerful. Immense gratitude to SC. He immediately informed the Indian consulate in Italy and by 9:00 AM  I received a call from there. Consulate General Shri.Atul Chawhan, consoled us and promised an emergency passport for both of us,” the doctor further wrote. 

Here’s the tweet:

Dear Friends,
We have a bitter story to share from Milan, Italy. Our passports, money and credit cards were stolen on March 5, 2024. Sunitha and I were just entering the Milan Central railway station, Italy, to take a train to Florence, to attend & present our research papers… pic.twitter.com/itQN7sP9zZ

— Jothydev Kesavadev (@jothydev) March 10, 2024

”Upon arrival at the Consul, the officers were very courteous and offered us a warm welcome. Within an hour they provided us with two emergency passports and gave us the confidence to go back to India only after the meetings and presentations in Florence. Dear friends let me tell you, losing the passport and money in a foreign country is very very scary and a fearful experience,” he added. 

Mr Kesavadev shared that the incident left them feeling shaken and guilty. “Probably due to repeated travels over several decades we were so careless and this is a lesson to learn from,” he said. The doctor also noted that pickpocket crimes in Italy are very common and advised fellow tourists to be careful.

”I am sharing this experience in social media; whether you are a traveller or not, inexperienced or experienced, could be of some help,” he concluded the post. 

Shashi Tharoor also reacted to the post and said, ”Glad it all worked out in the end @jothydev! So pleased our consulate did what was needed so well.”

Glad it all worked out in the end @jothydev ! So pleased our consulate did what was needed so well. @MEAIndia https://t.co/2pTt4DFd4u

— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) March 11, 2024

Pickpockets largely tend to target tourists, as they’re often confused, a bit overwhelmed, and lack situational awareness. 

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