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CRIME

Young women ‘strangled and robbed’ old people

Two women have been arrested for robbing the elderly after breaking into their homes in the Paris region and strangling them until they lost consciousness.

The two women, aged 22 and 25, were arrested in Barcelona earlier in the week, where they were wanted for similar crimes, and are soon to be extradited back to France.

Over the summer, the duo racked up 15 victims, who were mainly women aged between 71 and 91, in Paris and the Ile de France region.

They would follow victims to their houses and force their way in, before strangling them until they lost consciousness and stealing their valuables.

Two men, aged 35 and 37, were arrested in St Ouen, North West Paris, for acting as getaway drivers for the women.

Security camera footage caught the women dressed as nurses following their victims, sometimes shouting the word 'revenge' after they had committed the crimes.

“Their strategy was well-practiced and they would complete the crime in a few seconds,” said a source close to the case.

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CRIME

French police break-up fake Bordeaux wine ring

Police investigating drug-trafficking in south west France have broken up a counterfeit Bordeaux wine ring following an eight-month investigation.

French police break-up fake Bordeaux wine ring

Prosecutors said that 100 gendarmes were involved in an operation to arrest up to 20 suspects in seven départements after the fake wine scam was discovered when fake wine labels were discovered by officers investigating a drugs ring. 

During searches, a dozen vehicles and, “a large volume of wine” were seized, they added.

They estimated that several hundred thousand bottles of Spanish wine had been passed off as being from the Médoc wine region of France.

Investigations involving a dedicated police unit revealed “a large-scale fraud organised by the owner of a vineyard in the Médoc”, police said, who obtained wine via “Spanish contacts”, bottled it at night and put fake labels on the bottles.

The fake wines were then sold “by the pallet” in several areas via “a network of official and unofficial distributors made up of companies, pensioners and self-employed people”, according to prosecutors. 

Orders amounting to several thousand bottles were sent abroad, with customers believing they were buying Bordeaux chateau wines at bargain prices, prosecutors said, when the bottles really contained “low-end wines …. from remote areas”.

Three suspects, including someone described as the ‘main instigator’ appeared before an examining magistrate on Wednesday and was charged with a variety of offences linked to fraud.

A source close to the case told AFP that the counterfeiting targeted mid-range Médoc wines, which are easier to counterfeit than the grand crus. 

“If the facts are proven, we hope that the perpetrators will be heavily condemned because these practices harm the image of Bordeaux wines and the image of all those who work well and respect the rules,” reacted the Interprofessional Council of Bordeaux Wine contacted by AFP.

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