Two sisters on holiday in Paris have been robbed of jewellery and valuables worth over AUD 7 million that they were carrying in their car, police have confirmed – and it’s not the first time thefts on that scale have occurred in the vicinity.
The sisters, from the oil-rich Gulf state of Qatar, were cruising along the A1 motorway from Le Bourget airport in their Bentley when robbers struck. When the sisters stopped at a service station, masked men pounced, pumping the car full of tear gas and extracting EUR 5 million (AUD 7.1 million) worth of jewellery, luggage, and clothing.
Their chauffeur reported the ambush and crime immediately. France Local, which reports French news in English, says the Paris police special brigade, which investigates armed robberies, is onto the case.
It’s the latest of several recent high-profile robberies around Paris. Wealthy foreigners in luxury cars, some carrying large wads of cash, get stuck in traffic jams on the way between the city and Charles de Gaulle or Le Bourget airports.
Last month, a bandit gang held up a taxi carrying the chief executive of a French furniture chain as he headed from Le Bourget to Paris. Valuables worth about EUR 100,000 were stolen. Earlier, three attackers lifted jewellery worth EUR 4 million (AUD 5.7 million) from the car of a Korean art collector.
American reality TV star Kim Kardashian was robbed last month of millions of dollars worth of jewellery when armed thieves staged a daring raid on her Paris hotel and cycled off into the night with a swag of valuables. The value of the Kardashian haul hasn’t been divulged, though USD 11 million has been mentioned. The robbers dropped one piece of bling, worth USD 33,000, in the street as they cycled away.
No arrests have been made. The famed French detective, Inspector Jacques Clouseau, known for his work on the Pink Panther mysteries, could perhaps solve these cases. So could his Belgian counterpart, Hercule Poirot. Unfortunately for the victims, both those sleuths are fictional.
Written by Peter Needham