Paris, May 23 (IANS) A diamond worth 45 million euros ($50 million) has allegedly been stolen from a luxury hotel in Paris by two men who posed as precious stones experts, authorities said on Thursday.
The Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office told Efe news that it has launched a preliminary investigation into an alleged organized heist that took place in a hotel located in the VIII district, a short distance from the Avenue des Champs Elysees in central Paris.
The investigation has been handed over to the police of the Brigade de Répression du Banditisme (Banditry Repression Brigade), a special unit that supervises armed robbery, serious thefts and scam probes and operates within the Ministry of the Interior.
The victim, a Guinean national, had made an afternoon appointment for May 13 at the Warwick hotel for a valuation of her 43.5-carat diamond.
The two men and woman spent some time talking at the hotel’s bar during which one of the suspects examined the precious stone before returning it to its owner.
But two days later, the woman went to a police station to report her diamond had been stolen after she discovered it had been replaced by an imitation.
It is still early days for investigators who will first verify the woman’s account of events and retrace her activity in a bid to identify the suspects.