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Every month we cast a spot­light on a fig­ure mak­ing head­lines

France - - Advertising Feature -

Name: Jac­que­line Veyrac. Oc­cu­pa­tion: Hote­lier and restau­ra­teur. Tell me more: At 12.15pm on Mon­day, 24 Oc­to­ber 2016, Jac­que­line Veyrac, a 76-year-old widow and wealthy owner of the five-star Le Grand Ho­tel Cannes on La Croisette, was hauled from her car on a quiet side-street in Nice by three masked men and bun­dled into a white van. Later that day, Gérard, Veyrac’s youngest son, re­ceived a ran­som de­mand. The en­su­ing events could have been lifted from a crime thriller.

Within 48 hours, Veyrac had been found bound and gagged but un­harmed in the back of a van parked in a res­i­den­tial area over­look­ing Nice. A passerby had spot­ted that the li­cence plates looked false. Al­most im­me­di­ately, the po­lice de­tained six men and charged three with kid­nap­ping. Among the orig­i­nal sus­pects were an EX-SAS sol­dier, a pa­parazzo and a for­mer busi­ness as­so­ciate said to be har­bour­ing a grudge.

It was the sec­ond time that Veyrac had been tar­geted in this way. In De­cem­ber 2013, would-be kid­nap­pers were forced to abort their at­tempt when neigh­bours raised the alarm.

In ad­di­tion to Le Grand, which her late hus­band, also Gérard, had de­mol­ished and re­built in 1963, Veyrac owns La Réserve, an iconic restau­rant in Nice over­look­ing the Baie des Anges. De­spite these high-profile lo­ca­tions and play­ing host to fa­mous film stars, she has al­ways shunned the lime­light. But in this episode, she was the un­wit­ting lead in her own real-life drama.

The wa­ter­front at Cannes

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