The Irishman who went missing for eight months then turned up barefoot and in a distressed state on a backroad in Leitrim has been arrested on suspicion of wasting police time.

Failed property tycoon Kevin McGeever is being held at Gort police station in Galway and questioned on suspicion of making a report that wasted police resources, the Irish Times reports.

It was even claimed that the 69-year-old has been abducted by the Russian mafia after a property deal went wrong.

Reports said the word ‘thief’ was inked across his forehead when he was discovered wandering barefoot and wearing a plastic bag on a road between Swanlinbar and Ballinamore, Co Leitrim, last January.

He has been detained under section 4 of the 1984 Criminal Justice Act which allows him to be held for up to 24 hours.

McGeever was missing for eight months after it was claimed he had been kidnapped from his home in Craughwell, east Galway, at gunpoint in May of last year.

He told officers he had been held in a container for eight months and beaten.

During that time he lost several stone in weight and was said to have been in a dishevelled and disoriented state when found.

The former tycoon was taken for treatment to the regional hospital in Mullingar but left before giving a full account to police of what had occurred to him.

Last month his brother Brendan McGeever told Irish state broadcaster that McGeever had been held in a dark room, had received threats to his life on several occasions and had been physically abused by his captors.

But he dismissed as ‘nonsense’ speculation about Russian mafia links to his brother’s reported abduction.

Irish property tycoon Kevin Michael McGeever who claimed he was kidnapped by the Russian mobRTE