Paris Metro station heist sees thieves steal €300,000 of gems from Indian dealers

Two diamond dealers from India were attacked with tear gas and robbed at a Paris Metro station, with the thieves making off with a briefcase full of the precious jewels worth around €300,000.

Paris Metro station heist sees thieves steal €300,000 of gems from Indian dealers
Photos: AFP/TVZ Design, Flickr
It sounds like a story worthy of a Hollywood heist movie. 
The two diamond traders from India had been in the 10th arrondissement of Paris to sell the case of precious stones worth an estimated €300,000. 
However when the deal did not go ahead they decided to make their way back to their hotel on the Metro along with the stones, according to French press reports.  
But the thieves had other plans. 
When the traders got to the turnstiles at Cadet Metro station in the 9th arrondissement of the French capital which is home to many diamond dealers, the two Indian nationals were attacked with tear gas by the two men. 
After a quick scramble, one of the attackers managed to seize the briefcase and its precious contents, before fleeing the scene with his accomplice, according to French press reports
After the incident which took place on Monday February 26th at around 4pm the dealers filed a complaint.
According to reports, “The thieves were perfectly informed about the route of the two diamond dealers and had prepared their hit perfectly.” 
“The two traders were coming back from a business meeting and were attacked Monday afternoon by two men,” a source told AFP, confirming a report by French magazine Le Point.
“A bag containing several precious stones — but no diamonds — was stolen,” the source added. “Early indications are that it could have been a
premeditated attack.”
The French capital has seen a number of high-profile jewel robberies in the past few years, most recently an audacious heist at the Ritz hotel in January.
A gang armed with hatchets and handguns burst into the five-star hotel and smashed the windows of jewellery shops on the ground floor, but became trapped by locked doors as they tried to flee.
Three men have been charged over the robbery.
In October 2016, US reality TV star Kim Kardashian was tied up and robbed at gunpoint while staying in a luxury residence for Paris Fashion Week.
The thieves made off with jewellery worth at least nine million euros, including a ring worth four million dollars alone.

The five biggest jewellery heists France has ever seen


French court orders partial release for convicted Corsican nationalist

A French court on Tuesday ordered the partial release of a Corsican nationalist who has served 24 years in jail for the 1998 murder of a top French official.

French court orders partial release for convicted Corsican nationalist

Under the ruling, Pierre Alessandri will be allowed out of jail to work for a landscaping company in the daytime and will be granted a full conditional release in a year if he behaves well.

The relaxation of Alessandri’s conditions of detention came amid tensions between the Mediterranean island’s pro-autonomy leaders and the French state, after a fellow Corsican detained in the same case was killed in a French prison in March.

Alessandri and a third Corsican detainee were transferred from mainland France to a jail in Corsica in April after the murder of Yvan Colonna.

The Paris appeals court granted Alessandri “a probationary partial release” of 12 months from February 13, the prosecutor-general Remy Heitz said.

If he behaves well, he would then be granted “conditional release” for another ten years, he said.

Alessandri’s lawyer Eric Barbolosi hailed the ruling as a “great relief”.

“For the first time in a court of appeals, the magistrates made a decision based on the criteria necessary for a conditional release, not the particular nature of the case,” he said.

Alessandri had served enough time to be eligible for such a release by 2017, and had already petitioned to be freed three times.

But national anti-terror prosecutors objected, and an appeals court barred his release.

The country’s highest court then quashed one of these decisions, ordering the Paris appeals court to re-examine it.

Colonna, a former goat herder, was announced dead on March 21 after an Islamist extremist who accused him of blasphemy strangled and suffocated him in a prison in the southern town of Arles in mainland France.

He was detained in 2003 after four years on the run, and sentenced in 2007, and then again in 2011, to life in jail over the killing in 1998 of the French government prefect of Corsica, Claude Erignac.

The killing was the most shocking of a series of attacks by pro-independence militant group FLNC.

Alessandri and another nationalist, Alain Ferrandi, had already been sentenced to life in jail in 2003 over the murder.

Ferrandi, who was transferred to the same Corsican jail, has also requested to be released on parole, and a decision is due on February 23rd.

Colonna’s murder sparked violent protests in Corsica.

It galvanised the nationalist movement and led President Emmanuel Macron’s government to offer talks about giving greater political autonomy to the territory.