Kim Kardashian‘s tumultuous second half of 2016 began with being held at gunpoint in a Parisian hotel room in October, while five men dressed as policemen robbed her of millions of dollars worth of jewellery, including her engagement ring from husband Kanye West.
Yesterday, it was announced that a ring of 17 people had been arrested over the robbery – they were said to be professional criminals, many of whom had prior charges.
Now, more information has come to light about the thieves, and how the Paris Police Department caught them.
Although initial reports stated all seventeen arrested were men, it’s now been confirmed that three of the group are women (they were tasked with tailing Kim around Paris in the days leading up to the robbery), and two others are said to be diamond dealers.
The oldest suspect to be arrested was 72 years of age, and is a ‘career criminal’ known as Pierre B, and he lives in Plascassier, which is near Cannes in the south of France.
It’s thought that Pierre B is connected to an alleged criminal gang with ties across with French and Belgian groups who have made millions from counterfeit money. [Author note: How much does this all sound like a plot line of an ‘Ocean’s Eleven‘ film? So insane.]
One member of the group of seventeen was identified as working for the limo company that were responsible for driving the Kardashian family around during their visit for Paris Fashion Week, but also on previous visits to the city.
The man who was later arrested was the last person to chauffeur Kim – the level of his involvement is unclear, but French police appear to believe that he at least gave the criminals information on the reality star’s whereabouts.
Police identified another member of the group after finding a fingerprint on the $46,000 necklace that was dropped outside the hotel.
But according to The Mirror, majority of the suspects were identified due to one man leaving a DNA sample on the piece of tape used to bind Kim’s hands during the horrific robbery. The man whom the DNA was well-known to local police for robbery and other criminal offences.
After the DNA identified the man, police began surveillance, tapping the man’s phones and watching his everyday movements, which led to them finding his collaborators. The police reportedly even tracked a meeting between one member of the group, and a potential buyer of Kim‘s expensive jewellery.
Multiple different raids were launched by police at 6am on Monday morning in both Paris and the south of France, which ended in the arrest of the 17 people. Page Six reports that multiple firearms and around AUD $200,000 in cash were found during the successful raids.
Kim‘s jewellery was not found; police believe items – including her enormous $4 million engagement ring – have been transported to Antwerp in Belgium, a city well-known for its huge diamond district. It’s being reported by PEOPLE that two of the older men arrested are responsible for the international transport of the diamonds.
It’s been claimed by tabloids that Kim would be sent a video of the suspects so she could identify them, but her lawyer Jean Veil has said she is more than willing to travel back to Paris to identify them in person:
“If she is summoned to France, she will come to France, but judges also have the possibility of moving [to the USA].This is a formal process, which cannot be done on the phone, or even via a video link.”
The French police now have 96 hours to question the suspects, and decide if charges will be laid.
Photo: Instagram / @kimkardashian.