International diamond thief nabbed
13 September 2014, 09:42
Paris - Interpol said on Friday that a suspected Chinese jewellery thief accused of stealing millions of dollars worth of diamonds across the world had been arrested in Switzerland during another robbery.
Chinese national Jianguo Meng, 46, is linked to over a dozen heists since 2012, including the theft of a diamond ring worth $1.5m from Bahrain last year and was subject to an Interpol Red Notice, the international police organisation said.
"Meng and an accomplice were arrested in Zurich when a jewellery store employee recognised him from the industry alert and called police," it said in a statement.
He now faces extradition to Bahrain.
According to Interpol, Meng is suspected of carrying out robberies in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Malaysia, Monaco, Switzerland and the United Kingdom and always operated in tandem with another person.
"In each case, two suspects entered the store and asked to be shown a selection of high-end diamond rings," the statement said.
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"When a number of rings were out on the counter or table, the suspects would distract the salesperson by asking for directions or a business card and then steal one of the rings when the vendor turned away."
Interpol said it was investigating at least two Chinese organised criminal groups operating in a similar manner to Meng.