'Pink Panther' suspect held in Cyprus
Saturday 28 March 2009
Police in Cyprus have arrested a man from Montenegro believed to belong to a gang of jewel thieves dubbed the Pink Panthers, who are suspected of carrying out a $150m series of robberies over the past 10 years in Europe, Asia and the Gulf states, Interpol said yesterday.
Rifat Hadziahmetovic was arrested on 18 March as he tried to enter Larnaca airport, Cypriot police said, because he was travelling on a forged Bulgarian passport. An identity check by Cypriot police revealed that he was the subject of an Interpol "Red Notice" – meaning that he was on the agency's international wanted list.
Hadziahmetovic was then arrested on charges of alleged involvement in a 2008 robbery on the Spanish island of Tenerife, Interpol said in a statement from its headquarters in Lyon, France.
Hadziahmetovic appeared in a Cypriot court yesterday and will appear in court on Tuesday for the start of extradition proceedings to Spain.
The Pink Panthers are the prime suspects in a daring robbery not long before Christmas 2008 at the Harry Winston jewellery shop in Paris. The thieves walked into the store and made off with $108m worth of gems.
Some Pink Panther members are already in jail, including three Serbs who were convicted in 2005 for a robbery in Japan, which included a necklace worth $27m. Hadziahmetovic is suspected of participating in other armed robberies in Bahrain, Japan and the United Arab Emirates.
Jean-Michel Louboutin, Interpol's executive director of police services, said Hadziahmetovic has been identified from his fingerprints.
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
Migrants crossing the Mediterranean: Pope Francis joins calls for EU action on boat refugees
Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers recruited by the Shia Houthi rebels who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Isis in Afghanistan: Group claims responsibility for Jalalabad suicide bombing that killed 35
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...