Mexican Diplomat Fired for Stealing Blackberries

April 25th, 2008 at 12:00 am


It may be US policy that requires mobile phones and PDA’s to be left outside meeting rooms but leaving them way out in the open for anyone to pocket is somewhat absurd.  This is exactly what happened at a recent meeting in New Orleans where a member of the Mexican delegation was caught on camera taking half a dozen Blackberries.

Rafael Quintero Curiel, served as the lead press advance person for the Mexican Delegation and was responsible for handling logistics and guiding the Mexican media around at the conference [FOX News].  He was the attache who conveniently pocketed a couple of Blackberries lying outside a meeting room.

The Secret Service was quick to review a surveillance tape that showed Curiel pocketing the phones and heading out.  The Secret Service caught up with Curiel at the airport where when confronted initially denied taking the devices.  After the Secret Service showed the attache the video footage, the Mexican claimed that he thought the devices were forgotten and he also claimed that it was an accident that he forgot his plan to return them to the hotel.   After claiming diplomatic immunity he got on a plane to Mexico.

Sources have now leaned that Curiel has now been sacked from his post by the Mexican government.  Mexican Embassy spokesman Ricardo Alday said, "Mr. Quintero will be responsible for explaining his actions to the American authorities conducting an investigation. The Mexican government deeply regrets this incident."

No charges have yet been filed against Curiel but the matter is currently under investigation.  White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said, ""We are aware of the situation, but as it’s under investigation by law enforcement officials, we will decline to comment."