• Kyodo News


A suspect on an international wanted list for a 2007 jewelry heist in Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district has been arrested by police in Cyprus, Japanese police said Saturday.

The Metropolitan Police Department said it was informed by the Cypriot authorities of the arrest of Rifat Hadziahmetovic, 40, from Montenegro. He is a member of an international group of thieves dubbed the “Pink Panthers.”

Hadziahmetovic is one of the two suspects Japan was seeking in connection with the case.

The MPD, which has been working with Interpol, said it is planning to seek custody of Hadziahmetovic from the Cypriot government.

Hadziahmetovic was arrested March 18 for allegedly having a fake Bulgarian passport upon leaving Cyprus for Lebanon, the MPD said.

Japan put Hadziahmetovic on Interpol’s wanted list in February along with Radovan Jelusic, 38, for stealing a diamond tiara worth ¥200 million and a necklace worth ¥84 million from Exelco Diamond in Ginza, after spraying shop clerks with tear gas in June 2007.

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