A court in Moscow has sentenced three bloggers to three-and-a-half years behind bars on charges of car theft following a practical joke that involved stealing a taxi while the driver was loading luggage into the trunk.
The prank, conducted by bloggers Ramir Khasanov, Aidyn Tussupov, and Ersin Dumshebay, took place in March near a shopping mall in the Moscow City business district of the Russian capital. All three are citizens of Kazakhstan.
The practical joke involved the three bloggers ordering an expensive premium taxi. Once it arrived, two of the pranksters jumped into the car, while a third asked the driver for help putting shopping bags in the boot. A few minutes later, they returned the car and explained to the driver that he had been pranked.
"The third remained waiting for his accomplices near the shopping center and also filmed what was happening on a camera, to later be published on social media," the prosecutor's office explained.
This latest conviction isn't the first time two of the bloggers have been in trouble with the law. In 2020, Khasanov was put in prison for 10 days after coughing loudly on the metro system of Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city. The prank took place at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and was designed to scare passengers.
Tussupov, a blogger with 1.2 million Instagram followers, has also been in trouble in his homeland and went to prison last year for violating Covid measures.