Friday, June 19, 2009

Pink Panthers - Jewelry Robbers, not the Peter Sellers Movie

Inspector Clousseau from the 1970s Pink Panther movies series would be quite upset to know that a gang of international jewelry robbers is using his famous name.

The Swiss police have been working with Interpol for the last two years in the investigation of a group called "The Pink Panthers." Authorities say the group could involve as many as 150 poeple. The members are mainly Serbs, Croats, Montenegrans and Bosnians who fought in the Balkans in the 1990s.

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Thanks to their investigative work, Lausanne detectives have recently arrested two men believed to be part of this international network of trained jewelry thieves. This group is thought to have stolen more than $200 million worth of gems and watches from jewellers in 20 countries, including Switzerland.

The group got its name after a robbery in London in 2004, when one of the theives tried to hide a fabulous blue diamond in a container of face cream, in the manner of the classic Pink Panther movie starring Peter Sellers.

Elsewhere the thieves have been more bold. In April 2007 they smashed cars into a shopping mall in Dubai and snatched $3.4 million in diamonds in broad daylight with plenty of witnesses filming it in a Wafi City Shopping mall in Dubai. The youTube video has received over 200,000 hits on youTube. They are certainly brazen!

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