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Cash delivery van driver disappears in France with €1 million

The driver of an armoured cash delivery van disappeared outside Paris early on Monday along with an estimated one million euros, police sources told AFP.

Cash delivery van driver disappears in France with €1 million
File photo: AFP
The 28-year-old man had stopped in front of a Western Union office at around 6:00 am (0500 GMT) in Aubervilliers, a suburb just north of the capital, and stayed behind the wheel as two of his colleagues went inside.
   
“When they came back out, the van and the driver were gone,” one of the sources said.
 
The van was found soon afterwards a few blocks away with its doors wide open, but the driver and the bags of cash, worth some $1.13 million, were nowhere to be found.
   
The two other employees had not been injured, the source said.
   
Loomis, the armoured van company, did not return calls seeking comment.
   
An inquiry has been opened by France's anti-gang squad.
 
The last major such heist was in November 2009 when Toni Musulin fled in the armoured van he was driving with at least 11.5 million euros in cash collected from a Bank of France building in Lyon.
   
He was caught after a little more than a week on the run.

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THEFT

Paris: Pickpocket gang charged over €3million worth of thefts at tourist sites

Members of a pickpocket gang who ran a human trafficking network that sent undocumented minors to pick pockets at tourist sites in Paris and other French cities have been charged in France.

Paris: Pickpocket gang charged over €3million worth of thefts at tourist sites
Photo: AFP

Bosnian prosecutors on Thursday brought charges against eight people for running a human trafficking network that sent undocumented minors to pick pockets at tourist sites in Paris and other French cities.

The crimes were committed from 2012 to 2015 and made the group nearly three million euros ($3.5 million), they said.

READ ALSO: 12 simple ways to avoid the thieves and pickpockets in Paris

The eight men were charged notably with “organised crime, international human trafficking … forgery of documents, money laundering, bribery,” in both Bosnia and France, a prosecutors' statement said.

The suspects recruited women, children and minors in Bosnia, who were then transported to France to be forced to commit “thefts and pickpocketing in public places, subways, museums… and to send the money to the accused in Bosnia,” the prosecutors said.

The accused also illegally obtained ID and travel documents for persons transported to France.

A former employee of the Bosnian embassy in Paris was targeted in an earlier probe and sentenced after pleading guilty.

Sliding doors: Beware of the tiny thieves on the Paris Metro

Sliding doors: Beware the tiny thieves on the Paris Metro

The accused, none of whom has been arrested, include a municipal employee.

The operation was led in close cooperation with the French authorities as the “crimes seriously threatened security of citizens in France,” the statement said.

In 2014 a French court sentenced the ringleader of a gang that forced young girls, mainly from Bosnia, into picking pockets on the Paris Metro to 12 years in prison.

Police said that at one time Fehim Hamidovic's gang was responsible for up to 75 percent of thefts on the Metro, Paris's underground rail network.

The gang trained the girls to pick pockets and find potential targets — often Asian tourists known for carrying significant amounts of cash. 

About 20 members of the gang were also on trial and sentenced to between one and five years in prison.

The gang was busted in 2010 and police estimated it stole a total of 1.3 million euros in Paris in 2009.

VIDEO: The street scams to avoid in Paris

VIDEO: Top five street scams to avoid in Paris

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