Several people suspected of belonging to a network of jewelry collectors were arrested in France and Belgium on May 14, the gendarmerie announced Monday in a statement.
The case dates back to October 2021: the gendarmes of the Versailles research section are taken aback by "the suspicious actions" of a couple living in Drancy (Seine-Saint-Denis). Of Serbian and Romanian nationality, the pair is already known to the justice for acts of concealment. The gendarmes then note that individuals suspected of having taken part in burglaries make many comings and goings to their home. At the same time, the couple made many trips between Drancy and Antwerp, Belgium.
Investigations are being carried out by the Versailles research section, which is supported by the Central Office for the Fight against Itinerant Delinquency and the Île-de-France Surveillance Observation Unit as well as by the Belgian Federal Police, have identified a veritable network of jewellery and luxury watches. These valuables were first stolen during burglaries throughout France, before being sold to Belgian jewelers. In the space of eighteen months, nearly forty-five trips were made between France and Belgium. A second couple of alleged receivers, this time living in Sevran (Seine-Saint-Denis) is also identified.
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Stolen jewellery found at their home
After several months of investigation, a coordinated operation was launched on May 14. The Belgian police arrested the alleged couple of receivers while he was making yet another trip between France and Belgium. In the process, they also arrested a jeweler in Antwerp who was trying to recover the stolen jewels and watches. The police seized about thirty watches, fifty jewels and nearly 30,000 euros in cash.
On the other side of the border, French gendarmes searched the homes of the two couples of alleged receivers. Two men and three women were arrested, while the gendarmes discovered caches specifically built to hide the stolen jewellery and watches. Two last suspects will also be apprehended during the day, including a 19-year-old thief. The seven suspects arrested were brought before an investigating judge on 17 May, and three suspects arrested in Belgium were extradited to France to also be brought before an investigating judge.