Three arrested after Mongolian Olympic chief robbed in Paris

Suspects held in connection with thefts, including case involving a group of Saudi tourists

None of the jewellery stolen in a sting of drive-by robberies in Paris has been recovered. Reuters
Powered by automated translation

Three people have been arrested in connection with a string of drive-by robberies in Paris, one of which involved a senior member of the Mongolian Olympic delegation.

The suspects are also linked to a separate incident involving Saudi tourists, French police said.

Although Paris is stepping up security for next summer’s Olympic Games in the city, the Mongolian official, also an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, was the victim of an alleged robbery on October 11.

The official, whose identity has been withheld, was in Paris to attend a security meeting concerning the Olympics when he and his wife were allegedly robbed at the Landy Tunnel on their way from Charles de Gaulle Airport into central Paris.

Police said two men on a scooter smashed the car window in which the couple were travelling and seized a bag containing nearly €600,000 ($642,360) worth of jewellery from the back seat.

Prosecutors revealed the couple reported the contents to be worth about €570,000.

The Mongolian official is also a businessman who runs several companies in his home country.

Police believe on October 2 the same group targeted a group of Saudi citizens and made off with valuables worth an estimated €500,000.

The string of thefts has raised concerns about the safety of international visitors as Paris prepares for an influx of tourists and athletes.

The three male suspects, aged 22 to 25, were arrested last week in Seine-Saint-Denis, an area poised to host important Olympic venues and the athletes' village.

Authorities have so far failed to recover any of the stolen items but said they photos of jewellery on the suspects’ mobile phones had been found.

According to police sources, the men confessed to making €6,000 from reselling watches but have withheld information regarding the whereabouts of the jewellery belonging to the Mongolian couple.

The suspects, in pretrial detention since their arrest in the northern suburb of Paris, are awaiting a court hearing scheduled for November 30.

Updated: November 03, 2023, 1:00 PM