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Murdered, hospitalized or on the run, the suspected masterminds of a 25 million euro robbery absent from the Lyon assizes


REPORT OF THE HEARING - On the first day of the trial for the robbery of a Swiss van for 25 million euros in 2018, the Lyon Assize Court understood that certain gray areas would persist in the absence of brains suspected of this resounding local affair.

Le Figaro Lyon

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"The impression of a truncated trial"


On the first of the seven days of hearing scheduled before the Rhône Assize Court in the case of the robbery of 25 million euros by a team from Lyon who had sequestered the daughter of a conveyor working in Switzerland, the lawyer of the civil parties, Me Frédéric Lalliard noted, this Wednesday, the absence of half of the suspects initially targeted by the instruction.

And for good reason, the presumed mastermind of this precise operation, Mehdi A., 42, is still on the run.

Suspected of having acted as a lieutenant by participating in the kidnapping, Mektoub M., will be tried, but not this week, due to hospitalization.

The third of the six accused was murdered in what has all the contours of a settling of accounts, while around twenty million euros were not

were never found by Swiss or French investigators.

The latter have also received several anonymous letters which color the file,

"from people who said they had not received their share"

, according to Me Lalliard.

Cascading account settlements

One of these anonymous pieces of information was directed against Mehdi B., this thirty-year-old, the youngest of a large family known in Vaulx-en-Velin for the troubles of several of its members with the law.

The one who miraculously survived the ambush that cost the life of one of his brothers, before another was killed a few months later, is being prosecuted for the kidnapping of the conveyor's daughter.

The latter, a time accused but ultimately a civil party to the hearing, had been forced to hand over the contents of the van, in the town of Chavornay, in the canton of Vaud.

On the phone, the man who threatened his daughter had also given very specific details about his place of residence, as a sign of his seriousness.

At the opening of the hearing, the president of the assize court underlined the demarcation of Mehdi B.'s telephone around the young girl's home in the weeks preceding the robbery, suggesting to the investigators scouting.

Detained in Bourg-en-Bresse, the 30-year-old, who has 25 criminal records and a chaotic course of detention, confidently evokes a "

slanderous denunciation"


As in the case of robbery of gold bars with sequestration of 2021 in which he is also indicted.

If he denies the facts, his presence in the same flight as Mehdi A. bound for Thailand in March 2018 questions.

Pure coincidence answers the interested party.

Just like the limitation of his telephone near the garage where the Porsche was located in which the daughter of the conveyor was transported on the day of the events, after being put in a trash can.

Five years later, this Wednesday, she left the court with her face hidden during the first suspension of hearing, visibly tested.

“She remains traumatized”

, assures her lawyer.

Sequestered in a trash can

On February 5, 2018, she was unsuspecting when she opened the door of her building to people posing as plumbers, who had come to take care of the pipes that were actually defective in her apartment.

One more piece of information in the possession of the team of criminals, particularly prepared.

So much so that the investigators initially suspected the conveyor father, and even his daughter, before turning to his colleague, present in the van that evening, Yusuf K. He is accused of having informed the team on the route, schedules and security breaches of the convoys.

He cries out his innocence.

The investigators turned to this Haut-Savoyard in his thirties after he admitted having hidden a box containing the equivalent of 500,000 euros.

The payment of

Of the 26 million stolen in Swiss francs and other foreign currencies, only 2.5 million euros were therefore found, hidden in three briefcases at the home of one of the accused, in Trévoux in Ain.

The owner of the house, Pascal G., father of four children, carpenter and model employee according to his boss, says he does not know precisely the content or the source of the money.

The one who grew up in Vaulx-en-Velin recognizes

the “great greed”

proposed by a childhood friend against this role of nanny, which also included the custody of a Browning 7.65 automatic pistol, with the charger engaged.

A precise organization for

“very well prepared business”

according to Me Lalliard, with several meetings beforehand.

Two Genevans have already been sentenced in Switzerland last summer for having participated in its planning, revealing the contacts of criminals from Lyon.

Roles that are therefore emerging, but still some gray areas in the middle of the bloodshed, which the audience will try to shed light on by April 5, despite the absentees.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-03-29

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