£15.4m of Harry Winston jewellery found in drain

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Diamond jewellery recovered two years after Parisian boutique heist.

Diamond jewellery by Harry Winston said to be worth £15.4m has been found in a Paris drain more than two years after it was stolen in a daring jewellery heist.

The jewellery was recovered at the Paris home of one of the nine charged over the heist, which took place in December 2008. A Harry Winston store on the Champs-Elysees was targeted by four thieves, some of whom took pains to dress as women to disguise themselves. All are said to have carried guns.

French police investigators discovered the jewellery in a plastic container. It had been cemented into the drainage system of the house, in the Seine-Saint-Denis area of Paris.

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Nineteen rings and three sets of earrings were recovered, including a pair of earrings worth £12m. Parisian police confirmed the home belonged to one of the nine people charged over the robbery.

The robbery, which took place during the busy Christmas shopping period, occured while shoppers passed by the store. The gang took less than 15 minutes to steal jewellery worth £72.8m.

A number of stolen items, including rings, necklaces and watches were recovered in June 2009 after police arrested 25 people and eventually charged nine of them.

Detectives found jewellery woth £651,000 at the home of the heist’s suspected mastermind. He has already been sentenced to 15 years in prison in a separate drug trafficking case.

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