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CRIME

Cash delivery driver pays ‘millions’ to free daughter kidnapped in France

A driver for a Swiss money transfer business handed over a huge ransom - believed to total million of euros - from his cash-filled truck to thieves after they kidnapped his daughter in France, it emerged Friday.

Cash delivery driver pays 'millions' to free daughter kidnapped in France
Illustration photo: AFP

A driver for a Swiss money transfer business handed over a huge ransom from his cash-filled truck to thieves after they kidnapped his daughter in France, it emerged Friday.

The young woman, a student, was kidnapped from her home in the eastern city of Lyon on Thursday evening by two men pretending to be plumbers, sources close to the case told AFP.

They bundled her into a car before telephoning her father, who works for a Swiss cash-in-transit company that transports money between banks and companies under tight security.

The father, who was out in his van at the time, agreed to hand over its contents at a meeting point in Vaud on the Swiss side of the border.

The amount paid differs according to different sources. While Europe1 reported it amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars, BFM TV reported that the ransom was anything between €13 million and €26 million.

His daughter was released around 10 pm on Thursday on a highway in the French border region of Ain.

A source close to the probe said there had been no arrests yet in the investigation, which is being led by French police.

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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