Jun 20, 2009
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Monaco police charge three 'Pink Panther' suspects

Jun 20, 2009

MONACO, June 20, 2009 (AFP) - Police in Monaco charged three suspected members of the "Pink Panther" gang international jewel thieves Saturday 20 June, said a source close to the investigation.

Photo : Jack Guez/AFP

At least one of the tree was thought to be an important member of the gang, which has carried out raids in France, Germany and Switzerland.

The three men were picked up on Thursday 18 June as they were parking in Monte Carlo's Place du Casino, where several jewellery shops are located.

In October 2008, Monaco police arrested two suspected members of the "Pink Panther" who were wanted by foreign police forces in the same square.

And only last week, police foiled an attempted burglary of a jeweller's in the same square, arresting a Russian suspect.

Neither the prosecutor's office nor officials at Monaco's ministry of public security have released any information on the suspects, saying they would only make a statement at the beginning of the week.

All three have been remanded in custody.

The "Pink Panther" gang is thought number around 60 members from the former Yugoslavia, around half of whom Montenegrins.

As well as raids in Monte Carlo, the French Channel resort of Le Touquet, Germany and Switzerland, the group has also been linked to robberies as far afield as the United States, Japan and the United Arab Emirates.

Earlier this month, a Paris court jailed two Montenegrins, suspected members of the gang, on charges relating to forged papers.

Nicolai Ivanovic, 36, and Zoran Kostic, 39, were jailed for 24 and 10 months respectively. Police believe Kostic is one of the leaders of the gang.

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