Value of Cannes diamond theft triples to £89m

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Police say they were not notified about high-vale exhibition.

The value of Sunday’s Leviev diamond robbery at the Carlton Hotel in Cannes, France, has tripled to about €103 million (£89m).

Original estimates released in the aftermath of the robbery suggested that diamonds and diamond jewellery worth £34m had been taken but this has increased three-fold after a full inventory of missing items, with diamond-set watches also thought to be among the items stolen.

A lone gunman wearing a crash helmet and scarf broke into the Carlton Hotel on Sunday morning, threatening staff with a gun. It is understood that he entered a bedroom where Leviev diamonds and jewellery intended for an exhibition at the Carlton were being stored. He filled a case with jewels before leaving the hotel on foot.

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Cannes police have said they were not told about the exhibition, something they say is standard procedure for items of such high value. According to the BBC, hotel staff complained about inadequate security at the exhibition, saying it was held in a wing that had direct street access.

Local prosecutor Philippe Vique, one of those in charge of investigating the crime, said a complete inventory has since put the figure of the jewellery stolen at “far closer” to £90 million.

Reports have suggested that the robbery could be the work of the Pink Panther network, a gang thought to be responsible for a number of high-profile jewellery robberies across Europe and in Cannes in particular.
 

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