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Page last updated at 14:40 GMT, Saturday, 20 June 2009 15:40 UK

'Jewel gangster' held in Monaco

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Police in Monaco have arrested at least one suspected member of a notorious international gang of jewel thieves known as the Pink Panthers.

Another two people were detained with him near jewellery shops in Monte Carlo, but it is not clear if they too are suspected of being gang members.

The Pink Panthers have been blamed for raids on some 120 luxury shops in 20 countries over the past six years.

The gang has between 60 and 200 members - many from the former Yugoslavia.

Interpol has been co-ordinating the work of several police forces to try to catch the gang.

Brazen disguise

The Pink Panthers have hit shops as far afield as the US, Japan, Switzerland and the UAE.

One of their boldest raids saw four men, disguised as women, storm the Harry Winston jewellers in Paris last December and make off with more than $100m (£60m) worth of goods.

Two suspected members were jailed by a French court earlier this month and Montenegrin police made one arrest a week ago.

Police say the Pink Panthers have a less formal structure than most gangs, but can be ruthless, with links to murders and drug trafficking.



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