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CRIME

Million-euro ruby heist ‘close to being solved’

A heist involving a €1 million ruby and a stolen cheque from the French BNP-Parisbas bank is finally close to being solved by police after a man turned himself in, claiming he was part of the gang implied.

Moussa S, as the French press are calling him, 23, managed to avoid being arrested at the end of July by hiding at his parents’ house.

But he finally gave himself up this week, charged with fraud in an organised gang, and helped complete the bigger picture for police.

Moussa S is suspected of having supplied a stolen cheque for €1 million to one Fabrice B, who used the money to buy a rare Burmese ruby of more than five carats in June last year.

The police were alerted a few days after the purchase, when the man from whom the cheque was stolen realised a large, unauthorised sum had gone missing from his account.

Fabrice B, who was living in the third arrondissement of Paris at the time, was quickly identified but could not be tracked down – he had disappeared along with the ruby.

He was eventually arrested and questioned, when he put police onto Moussa S.

But the ruby was never found.

“The supplier of this cheque, who also went by the name of Moise, has indicated that it was given to him by someone called Mac,” a source close to the affair told Le Parisien.

“He claims he did not receive any commission for selling the cheque.”

The plot thickened when police discovered the cheque used to buy the ruby one of 600 that had been stolen from BNP-Parisbas in November 2010.

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PARIS

Paris police rescue handbag robber from river Seine

Paris police on Tuesday fished a man out of the Seine river, which he jumped into after he rammed a car into a Valentino store and robbed dozens of luxury handbags.

Paris police rescue handbag robber from river Seine

The 24-year-old suspect smashed into the store around 2am on the high-end Rue Saint-Honoré, a police source said.

He grabbed as many as 30 luxury handbags and other items before attempting to flee in the car.

The man then failed to stop when a police patrol gave chase after spotting him near the central Paris Opéra.

He abandoned the car on Place de la Concorde at the end of the Champs-Elysées, the police source said, before plunging into the nearby river Seine.

But river police quickly fished him out and placed him under arrest.

A source familiar with the case said that the “entirety” of the stolen items had been found.

A second source told AFP that “around 30” handbags – which Valentino lists on its website at between €1,000 and €3,000 – were found in his car.

The suspect now faces an investigation for charges including aggravated robbery and refusal to comply with police, Paris prosecutors said.

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