Stolen in France, the jewelry were leaving for Antwerp (Belgium). Once melted, thegold was turned into ingots one kilo. After 11 months of investigation, French gendarmes and Belgian police have just dismantled a new network of stolen jewelry.
In March 2019, the gendarmes of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines) noted an increase in burglaries. The investigation is directed towards Albanian criminals established in Paris (20th century) and in Seine-et-Marne. They blame them for some 410 burglaries of pavilions from March 2019 to January 2020 in five regions: Ile-de-France, Center-Val-de-Loire, Champagne-Ardenne, Bourgogne, Rhône-Alpes. Their target? Only gold jewelry. The damage exceeds 2 million euros.
The specialized Interregional Jurisdiction (JIRS) of Paris seizes four Gendarmerie units: the research section (SR) of Versailles, the Central Office for the fight against itinerant delinquency (OCLDI) and the groups of Yvelines and Seine-et-Marne who then continue the investigation.
The gold of jewelry melted down into gold bars
The gendarmes then uncover an organized, trans-regional and international network, with a stash network in Belgium. Exchanges between French and Belgian investigators then make it possible to identify and locate the receivers. They then materialize the criminal structure set up between France and Belgium.
Stolen jewelry leaves regularly for Belgium. Specifically for a jewelry store in Antwerp in the diamond district. There, the criminals melt them and transform them into one kilo gold bars.
Investigators knew his manager well, already implicated, in November 2019, in another case of stolen jewelry. It was a time of Chechen and Albanian burglars. There also the jewelry stolen in the southwest – damage of 330,000 euros – arrived in this Antwerp jewelry store to be melted there.
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On February 5, 50 Belgian police officers and a hundred French gendarmes mobilized simultaneously in Antwerp, in the diamond district, and in Ile-de-France. They arrest four men in Belgium and six others in France. The searches make it possible to seize more than 50 kg of jewelry, 11,000 euros in cash and two vehicles.
At the end of police custody in Île-de-France, four people are indicted. Two people, arrested and imprisoned by the Belgian authorities, will be extradited to France by European arrest warrants.
“This major project, investigators point out, reveals the excellent cooperation between the Belgian and French police and judicial authorities, under the aegis of the OCLDI ”. Moreover, “It highlights the added value of exchanges with Europol and operational support provided by European police cooperation projects Specter and Empact OPC“. Specter is a European fund for internal security and Empact OPC, a European multidisciplinary platform to counter criminal threats.