Tokyo gem heist probe cuts from Paris to…Aberdeen

15th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, July 15 (AFP) - Armed officers have raided a Scottish suburban house as part of a worldwide probe into a multi-million dollar jewellery theft in Japan, police said Thursday.

LONDON, July 15 (AFP) - Armed officers have raided a Scottish suburban house as part of a worldwide probe into a multi-million dollar jewellery theft in Japan, police said Thursday.  

Last week's swoop near the city of Aberdeen, northeast Scotland, was in connection with the theft from a boutique in Tokyo on March 5, in which robbers snatched a 125-carat necklace encrusted with 116 diamonds, known as the Comtesse de Vendome, police said.  

Diamonds worth a total of JPY 3.5 billion (USD 31.5 million) were robbed from the Le Supre-Diamant Couture de Maki store in broad daylight. No security guards were employed at the shop at the time of the theft.   

With a 54-year-old British woman being sought in connection with the robbery, the probe switched to a hillside farm on the outskirts of Aberdeen.  

Scottish police, along with officers from the international police agency Interpol, raided a private house, being rented out by its owner, on July 7.  

The woman is believed to be part of a four-strong gang suspected of carrying out the heist in Tokyo's plush Ginza shopping district.  

Arrest warrants have been issued in Japan for her, another woman in her 20s and two Serbian men.  

Japanese police suspect the gang was based in France ahead of the robbery.  

"Grampian police is assisting with a Japanese police inquiry into the theft of several pieces of jewellery worth a combined total of GBP 18 million," a Scottish police spokesman said Thursday.   

"A joint police operation was conducted in Aberdeen on July 7 and a house has been searched."  

The spokesman added that nobody has been charged following the raid at the Scottish address, known as Newton Croft House.  

Nobody at the property was prepared to comment Thursday, while the owner, Fabrizio Necchi, said he learned about the raid only after reading details in a local newspaper.  

Japanese police believe the gang entered Japan using forged passports and returned to Paris on March 5 and 6.  

The gang's two male members had visited the jewellery shop posing as customers. One of them threw liquid over a store clerk and punched him while the other broke into the display cases with a hammer.  

The 21-year-old shop clerk sustained minor injuries to his face.  

Tokyo police believe the two male robbers used fake Croatian and Czech passports to enter Japan in late February along with their female accomplices, who are suspected of using fake Czech and British papers.

 

© AFP

 

Subject: French news

 

 

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