National

France holding suspect in Ginza jewel heist

Kyodo

A suspect in a 3.5 billion yen jewelry robbery in Tokyo’s Ginza district in March has been arrested in Paris, the Press Association reported Tuesday.

The British news agency said the arrest came to light during the trial of a suspect in connection with a jewelry store robbery in London.

The revelation came during the conviction of Nebojsa Denic, a 34-year-old Kosovar Serb who was found guilty Tuesday of taking part in a robbery targeting Graff jewelers in London in May last year. Diamonds worth some £23 million were stolen in the London heist.

The court in London was told that Denic held back staff with a gun, while his accomplice — known as Marco from Montenegro — made off with the gems.

According to PA News, Denic and Marco were part of a group known by detectives as the Pink Panther gang. Marco, whose real name is Predrag Vujosevic, is believed to be responsible for a series of robberies across Europe and in Japan. He was arrested in Paris in May and is currently being held along with his girlfriend.

Following Denic’s conviction, a Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman confirmed that detectives are examining possible links between the London case and the raid on Le Supre-Diamant Couture De Maki in Tokyo on March 5, when a 125-carat diamond necklace worth 3 billion yen was stolen.

“We are making initial inquiries regarding a theft of jewelry in Tokyo to determine if there are any matters for us to address,” the spokeswoman told Kyodo News.

Following the Tokyo robbery, police issued international arrest warrants for four people, including two Serbo-Montenegrins and a Briton.

Earlier this month, police raided a house in Aberdeen, northeast Scotland, following a request by Japanese police, though it is believed that nothing was recovered by police.

A woman who lives at the property and has been named in local media reports has denied any involvement in the robbery.

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