Helene Pastor shooting: Son-in-law who stands to inherit €20bn suspected of Monaco heiresses murder

Hélène Pastor was shot in the jaw, chest and neck by a sawn-off hunting rifle as her car left a hospital car park in Nice six weeks ago

Paris

The Cambridge-educated son-in-law of an elderly billionairess murdered in Nice last month is suspected of ordering her killing, French investigators have said.

Wojciech Janowski, 64, the Polish honorary consul in Monaco, and his wife Sylvia Pastor, 52, are among 20 people under arrest for questioning about the murder of Hélène Pastor, 77, outside a hospital in Nice on 6 May.

The public prosecutor in Marseille, Brice Robin, said that Sylvia Pastor was not necessarily involved in her mother’s murder. He spoke, however, of “suspicious movements” in her husband’s bank accounts and evidence linking Mr Janowski to “middle men” who are believed to have hired the men who carried out the attack. Mr Janowski and at least a dozen people are expected to be placed under formal investigation, one step short of a charge, by the end of the week.

A policeman stands at the site where a shooting injured Helene Pastor, sister of late Monegasque businessman Michel Pastor, and her driver, outside The Archet hospital in Nice, southeastern France A policeman stands at the site where a shooting injured Helene Pastor, sister of late Monegasque businessman Michel Pastor, and her driver, outside The Archet hospital in Nice, southeastern France

Hélène Pastor, one of the wealthiest women in Europe, was shot in the jaw, chest and neck by a sawn-off hunting rifle as her car left a hospital car park in Nice six weeks ago. A gunman fired through the windscreen. Her chauffeur Mohamed Darwich, 64, died four days later. Ms Pastor died eight days after the attack. 

An elegant, shy woman, sometimes known as Monaco’s “deputy princess”, Ms Pastor was one of the heirs to a €20bn property fortune. Before she died, she told French detectives that she had no enemies and had received no threats.

French investigators now believe that her killing may have been ordered by her son-in-law for reasons unknown and carried out by two small-time criminals from a Marseilles council estate.

Forensic experts investigate a car at the site where a shooting injured Helene Pastor, sister of late Monegasque businessman Michel Pastor, and her driver, outside the Archet hospital in Nice Forensic experts investigate a car at the site where a shooting injured Helene Pastor, sister of late Monegasque businessman Michel Pastor, and her driver, outside the Archet hospital in Nice

Security camera and mobile telephone footage helped police to piece together the movements of two suspected gunmen on the day of the crime. They arrived in Nice from Marseilles by train, took separate taxis to the ambush, escaped by bus and then bargained with a taxi driver before paying €500 for a 160-mile ride back to Marseille.

The Marseille prosecutor, Mr Robin, said the two men had been identified from security camera footage and DNA left on a shower gel tube in a Nice hotel. He named the suspects as Alhair Hamadi, 31, born in Marseille of Comoros Islands origins, and Samine Said Ahmed, 24, born in the Comoros in the Indian Ocean. Both have criminal records.

Other people arrested in Nice, Marseille and Rennes on Monday were believed to have been intermediaries and helpers. They include a volunteer gendarme, suspected of supplying the murder weapon.

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