Police arrest suspected 'Pink Panther' jewel robber: Interpol

4th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Police in Montenegro arrested a suspected member of the Pink Panthers, a gang accused of robbing jewels worth hundreds of millions of euros in heists worldwide, Interpol said Tuesday.

The France-based cross-border police organisation said the suspect was Bojan Vuckovic, a 24-year-old Serbian wanted in Austria for the armed robbery of a jewellery shop in Vienna in November 2008.

Vuckovic was arrested "during a check by Montenegro police at the Montenegrin-Serbian border, after they identified him on the basis of nominal information supplied by Austrian authorities," Interpol said in a statement.

Interpol has an international cell set up specially to bust the Pink Panthers, whom it suspects of stealing jewels worth more than 250 million euros (330 million dollars) in numerous heists worldwide over the past decade.

It says the Pink Panthers are blamed for more than 190 robberies in 27 countries worldwide over a 10-year period, counting up to February this year.

Vuckovic's is "the latest in a series of arrests of Pink Panther suspects in recent years by police worldwide working in liaison with Interpol's Pink Panthers Project, including high-profile arrests in Cyprus, France and Monaco."

Three Serbs accused of being members of the gang were jailed in France for six to 15 years in September. Another who was wanted in at least four countries was jailed in Cyprus in April 2009.

Interpol added that it "will seek to draw on the latest elements following the arrest of Vuckovic to pool and review investigative information to help identify further members, accomplices and other crimes linked to the gang."

© 2010 AFP

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