Europe

Pink Panther gang: Barcelona police arrest five suspects

A broken display case in a Barcelona jewellery shop targeted by the Pink Panther gang - 5 August 2016 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The gang are thought to have carried out hundreds of robberies

Police in Barcelona have arrested five suspected members of the so-called "Pink Panthers" gang as they tried to rob a jewellery shop.

A special unit was waiting for the man inside the shop Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona's biggest shopping street.

Interpol believes the gang carried out at least 380 armed robberies jewellery shops between 1999 and 2015.

Most of those arrested are from eastern Europe.

One of the men robbing the shop was armed, police said. German and Serbian authorities were involved in the build-up to the raid.

In February 2014, Pink Panther gang member Borko Ilincic was arrested in Madrid. He was accused of being involved in the spectacular robbery of a jewellery store in Dubai's al-Wafi Mall in 2007.

He appeared in court in Dubai for the first time in June after his extradition to the United Arab Emirates.

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Media captionBorko Ilincic is suspected of being involved in the robbery of the Al-Wafi Mall in Dubai

Many of the gang's members hail from the Balkans and have also hit Tokyo and London. Interpol estimates they have stolen close to €334m ($371m; £283m) of jewellery.

The Pink Panthers were given their name when police in London made an arrest in 2003, and found a diamond ring hidden in a jar of face cream - a ploy used in the original Pink Panther comedies starring Peter Sellers.

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