SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

Two French volunteers ‘murdered off Madagascar’

Two young French volunteers found dead Sunday on an island off the northeast coast of Madagascar were likely murdered, French and Madagascan authorities said.

Two French volunteers 'murdered off Madagascar'
Sainte-Marie island, where the bodies were found. Photo: AFP

Local mayor Bessaou Ismak Ado Crophe on the resort island of Sainte Marie told AFP that the bodies of both victims, a man and a woman in their twenties, showed signs of head trauma, with officials suspecting murder.

“They spent the evening in a nightclub and were found on the beach nearby,” he said. “I saw the bodies. Both had injuries to the head.”

The two had in recent months been volunteering at Cetamada, a local environmental non-profit organization working to protect ocean mammals. The French foreign ministry in a statement condemned the “odious crime that claimed the lives of two French nationals”.  It offered its condolences to the families and said an investigation was under way in Madagascar.

Madagascan Tourism Minister Roland Ratsiraka said he had spoken to the French ambassador to the Indian Ocean island and that the consul would be visiting Sainte Marie on Monday.

“The government strongly condemns this act and will ensure that the investigation will be transparent,” he said.

Cetamada vice-president Jean-Jacques Ravello, who is also France's honorary consul to Sainte Marie island, called the incident “barbaric”.

“I do not want to minimise this barbaric act, but we've been bringing dozens of volunteers here for 15 years and we've never had a problem this big,” he told AFP.

Ravello said fellow volunteers had gathered together following the incident and were “shocked psychologically”.

In 2012, a French couple was found dead on a beach in southern Madagascar. A year later, two Europeans were attacked and killed by a mob on the northwest island of Nosy Be, suspected of involvement in the death of an eight-year-old local boy.

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.

SHOW COMMENTS