The missing property developer found wandering on a country road in Leitrim had the word ‘thief’ engraved into his forehead – and claims he was abducted by the Russian mafia.

Various Irish newspapers have reported that tycoon Kevin Michael McGeever has told police that he was ‘abducted’ by armed men eight months ago.

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He also said he has no recollection of what happened to him after that but claims the Russian mafia are involved.

More than one paper has also said that the word ‘thief’ has been carved into his forehead.

The 68-year-old was found wandering aimlessly on a small road near Ballinamore in Leitrim, on Tuesday night.

Police say he was dishevelled when a local couple found him and had lost about five stone in weight. He was reported missing by his family from their Galway home in Gort last June.

The Irish Independent reports that McGeever has claimed that he was abducted by three masked men at gunpoint from the garden of his mansion home at Craughwell.

The report says that the kidnappers demanded a ransom for his safe release but he did not know whether a ransom had been paid.

He has no memory of what has happened to him in the meantime but on his release, he was given a mobile phone and warned to keep it with him at all times.

Police said he was found in a feeble and thin condition with a lengthy beard and very long fingernails. He is currently under armed guard while he is being treated at Mullingar hospital for malnutrition and dehydration.

The Irish Independent reports that marking on his forehead was thought to have been cut into him with a knife.

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The report adds that McGeever told the couple who found him that he had been thrown out of a van and did not know where he was.

McGeever ran a successful property business during the Celtic Tiger boom selling luxury homes in Dubai to wealthy Irish and British clients.

The paper says he is currently listed in legal proceedings before the High Court in Dublin in a case being taken against KMM Properties, which began in 2009.

The couple who discovered McGeever have also spoken to the media.

Catherine Vallely was on her way home to Ballinamore with her partner Peter Rehill when they spotted him in the middle of the road.

She said: “He had red trousers that made me think it was a cone in the middle of the road.

“When the man got into our car he told us he had no shoes on. He said three men threw him out of a van.

“The man said his name was Kevin and he didn’t realise he was in Leitrim. He didn’t even know the month.

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“We brought him straight to Ballinamore garda (police) station A female officer immediately invited him in for a cup of tea.

“As he was eating tea and biscuits he asked her if she had any more. He said he hadn’t eaten for God knows how long.

“He had a pair of enormous eyes in a very thin face and his cheekbones stuck out. He was rubbing his beard with fingers that had long nails. He was very well-educated, well-spoken and polite and articulate. He was just skin and bones.”

Officers brought a bag of curry chips to McGeever as they questioned him.

Vallely added: “We were told he used to be 16 stone. He was just skin and bones”

Siobhan O'Callaghan Dublin and Kevin McGeever, Swinford / Dublin pictured at the New Year's Eve Gala Dinner in Breaffy House Hotel and Spa, CastlebarMichael Donnelly