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Serbs held for Geneva watch and jewel heists

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Serbs held for Geneva watch and jewel heists
Zenith watch boutique in Geneva: suspects deny being Pink Panthers. Photo: Zenith
10:27 CEST+02:00
Swiss authorities have arrested two men in connection with sensational robberies of watch and jewellery shops in downtown Geneva over the summer, a newspaper says.

The Tribune de Genève newspaper reported on Friday that a 44-year-old Serb man and a 30-year-old fellow countryman are in detention.

They stand accused of being responsible for the spectacular break-in of the Zenith watch boutique on August 22nd when a car was used as a battering ram to smash the store window, the newspaper said.

Watches worth one million francs ($1.1 million) were stolen from the boutique, owned by a subsidiary of French luxury conglomerate LVMH.

The eldest of the two men has admitted to participating in the break-in of a Geneva jewellery shop on June 13th, when 480,000 francs’ worth of merchandise was seized.

The Tribune de Genève said the two suspects have been detained in Geneva for several days.

The younger man was arrested 10 days ago at the Swiss-Italian border crossing of Chiasso in the canton of Ticino.

He has admitted to his involvement in in the Zenith break-in, saying that he received 20,000 francs for his services, the Tribune reported.

Traces of his DNA were found in the abandoned vehicle, a stolen Renault Mégane, used to enter the boutique, the newspaper said.

His alleged colleague was nabbed a month ago at the Basel border.

At the time of the Zenith store robbery, local media reported that the Pink Panthers gang was suspected of being responsible.

This criminal group, made up of former military officers active in the war over former Yugoslavia, are noted for committing a raft of spectacular jewellery store heists across Europe.

However, the men currently detained in Geneva firmly deny being part of the group, the Tribune reported.
 

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