Four charged over Kim Kardashian Paris robbery

AFP - [email protected]
Four charged over Kim Kardashian Paris robbery
Kardashian pictured with her husband Kanye West. File photo: AFP

French prosecutors on Thursday charged four suspects over the armed robbery of US reality TV star Kim Kardashian in Paris, including one accused of directly taking part in the heist.


Yunice A., 63, was charged with robbing Kardashian at gunpoint and leaving her bound and gagged in a bathroom in her luxury Paris residence in the early hours of October 3, the prosecutor said.
The other three were charged with aiding and abetting the theft of gems worth a total of around nine million euros ($9.5 million), the biggest jewellery theft from an individual that France has seen in more than 20 years.
Marceau B., a 64-year-old Roma, was charged with helping to pass off some of the stolen jewellery.
He has a long criminal record dating back to 1998, with convictions for robbery and carrying counterfeit cash. Six months after leaving jail in late 2011, he was charged with making counterfeit money but was acquitted last year.
The other two charged, 44-year-old Florus H. and Gary M., 27, are accused of tipping off the thieves over Kardashian's comings and goings.
'Old-school gangsters' 
Another six suspects are still in custody, including four other men ranging in age from 54 to 72, who are suspected of direct involvement in the brazen robbery.
One source close to the probe described the five assailants as "old-school gangsters".
Wearing police uniforms, they first overpowered a night watchman at the residence in the chic Madeleine area of the French capital where the 36-year-old Kardashian was staying during Paris Fashion Week.
Two of them then burst into the star's apartment, gagged and bound her at gunpoint and locked her in a bathroom before helping themselves to gems including a 20-carat diamond ring worth some four million euros.
A total of 17 people were arrested on Monday, including Pierre "Pierrot" B., a 72-year-old convicted cocaine dealer suspected of taking part in the heist, who was picked up in a villa in the south of France.
Another suspected of taking direct part in the heist is aged 61 and nicknamed "Blue Eyes".
He was sentenced in 2003 to eight and half years in jail for international cocaine trafficking after being busted with two tonnes of the drug at a Paris airport.
"They thought it would be the heist of the century but they made a lot of mistakes," one investigator said.
Notably, the star's 30,000-euro diamond necklace was found in the street by a passer-by hours after the heist.
Seven suspects have been released including a chauffeur who was used by Kardashian during her stay.
His brother remains in custody, suspected of tipping off the thieves that Kardashian's bodyguard was absent on the night of the robbery and giving them details about the residence.
The bodyguard, who was providing security for her sister Kourtney at a Paris nightclub at the time, no longer works for the family.
Some of those still in custody have confessed to their involvement, a source close to the probe said, without elaborating.
Two suspects who remain at large have been sighted in Antwerp, Belgium, the hub of the global diamond trade.
Investigators fear some of Kardashian's jewels have already been sold, as raids against suspects have turned up 200,000 euros in cash.
The diamond ring, much photographed and easily recognisable, would be especially difficult to pass off, experts say.
Such gems are often recut into smaller stones, and police say Kardashian's ring could lose three-quarters of its value after being reworked. 


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