Stolen gems worth millions found near Paris

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French police Tuesday said they had recovered rings and earrings worth millions of euros, part of jewellery stolen in a heist in Paris in December 2008.

In all 19 rings, one worth six million euros ($8.3 million dollars), and three pairs of earrings, together worth 14 million euros, were found at a house in the suburbs of Paris, the Paris police headquarters said.

They were part of an 85 million euro haul stolen in a record burglary from jeweller Harry Winston' shop off the Champs Elysees in the centre of Paris on December 4, 2008.

Four armed criminals, in some cases disguised as women and knowing the names and personal addresses of some of the shop's staff and the exact whereabouts of strong boxes, carried out their burglary in the space of 15 minutes.

The jewels discovered Tuesday had been set in concrete and hidden in a drain, police said.

Police have detained and questioned 25 people in connection with the theft and say that "half the haul has been recovered".

© 2011 AFP

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