Austria jails two members of ‘Pink Panthers’ heist gang
An Austrian court on Tuesday jailed for up to nine years two Serbian members of the notorious “Pink Panthers” gang, an international criminal network specialising in jewel heists.
The court in Innsbruck, western Austria, jailed the pair — aged 37 and 35 — to four-and-a-half years and nine years respectively for a string of robberies carried out between 2011 and 2017.
Both had pleaded guilty and expressed regret for their crimes, which was reflected in their sentences, the judge said.
Some of the victims were seriously injured during the robberies and the value of the stolen goods was estimated to be two million euros ($2.4 million).
Both men had already been convicted of similar crimes in Switzerland last year, before being extradited.
The gang, led by masterminds from the former Yugoslavia, was given named the “Pink Panthers” by British police after a diamond theft in London in 2003.
One of the stolen gems had been hidden in a jar of beauty cream, a ploy reminiscent of one of the Pink Panther comedy films starring Peter Sellers.