11 million euros stolen from Saudi princess' hotel room

11th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

This is the second burglary in a week where thieves managed to pull the safe out of the wall from luxury hotels on the Costa Smeralda.

Rome -- Burglars made off with jewels and cash worth EUR 11 million from the hotel room of a Saudi princess in Sardinia, Italians newspapers reported Sunday, sparking a diplomatic incident.

"The thieves used a master key. In 10 minutes at dinner time, without making any noise, they managed to remove the safe from a suite occupied by the Saudi princess," who was not named, the daily La Stampa reported.

The safe was only fixed with silicon to the wall into which it was embedded, it said.

According to the daily La Repubblica, the burglary sparked a diplomatic incident.

"A military official from the Saudi embassy arrived in Sardinia and the Italian secret services and diplomats from both countries have been involved."

A Moroccan businessman also had his room burgled in another luxury hotel on the Costa Smeralda, the most chic resort area on the island, where Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi also owns a luxury villa.

Using a similar technique, thieves pulled the safe out of the wall and got away with around EUR 150,000 worth of jewels and money.

Both burglaries were carried out this week. The two hotels belong to the same chain, Iti Hotels.

Investigators suspect they were the work of an expert gang, probably from abroad, helped by someone with inside knowledge, who had worked in both establishments.

A third burglary was carried out in a hotel in Portofino, on Italy's northwest coast, where a German businessman had the safe stolen from his room, containing EUR 1 million worth of jewellery and EUR 3,000 in cash, according to Il Corriere della Sera.

AFP / Expatica

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