Qatari women robbed of mil­lions in Paris rob­bery

Kuwait Times - - NEWS -

Two Qatari women were held up on a Paris mo­tor­way and robbed of valu­ables worth more than five mil­lion eu­ros ($5.3 mil­lion) in the lat­est heist tar­get­ing wealthy vis­i­tors to the French cap­i­tal. The women, in their six­ties, had just left Le Bour­get air­port north­east of the cap­i­tal on Mon­day when their chauf­feur-driven Bent­ley was held up by two masked men who sprayed them with tear gas, a po­lice source said Tues­day. The rob­bers stole “ev­ery­thing in the ve­hi­cle: Jew­els, clothes, lug­gage”, the source said.

Last month, American re­al­ity TV star Kim Kar­dashian was tied up and robbed at gun­point of $10 mil­lion in jew­els in a lux­ury apart­ment in the heart of Paris. Po­lice said the rob­bers held a gun to Kar­dashian’s head, bound and gagged her and shut her into a bath­room in the big­gest jew­elry rob­bery of an in­di­vid­ual in France in more than 20 years. In an­other in­ci­dent, Bol­ly­wood ac­tress Mal­lika Sher­awat was punched in the face and sprayed with tear gas by three masked men in an up­mar­ket area of Paris this month. The 40-year-old star and her part­ner were at­tacked as they re­turned to an apart­ment build­ing in the chic 16th district by three masked men who tried to steal her hand­bag.

The in­ci­dents have done lit­tle to help ef­forts by the govern­ment to coax tourists back to France in the wake of the Nov 2015 ji­hadist at­tacks in which 130 peo­ple died, fol­lowed by the Bastille Day truck mas­sacre in south­ern city Nice that killed 86. In the Paris area alone, tourism rev­enue is ex­pected to plunge by €1.5 bil­lion ($1.6 bil­lion) this year. Se­cu­rity has been stepped up around tourist mag­nets in Paris in re­sponse to the high­pro­file rob­beries.

The at­tack on the Qatari women took place on a sec­tion of mo­tor­way lead­ing north from Paris to the Charles de Gaulle and Le Bour­get air­ports which is of­ten the scene of holdups tar­get­ing wealthy for­eign­ers in lux­ury cars, some of whom carry large amounts of cash. The rob­bers of­ten take ad­van­tage of traf­fic jams near the Landy tun­nel, which is some 1.3 km long, to pounce. Last month, a taxi trans­port­ing the chief ex­ec­u­tive of a French fur­ni­ture chain among other pas­sen­gers was held up af­ter leav­ing Le Bour­get, which is of­ten used by pri­vate jets.

The three rob­bers made off with an es­ti­mated €100,000 in valu­ables. A Korean art col­lec­tor was the tar­get of a sim­i­lar heist last year, with three at­tack­ers snatch­ing four mil­lion eu­ros in Chanel jew­els from her car in the Landy tun­nel.

— AP

A gen­eral view of Mar­tyrs Ceme­tery, the old­est and largest in the cap­i­tal over­look­ing the At­lantic Ocean in Rabat, Morocco on Mon­day.

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