The trial of seven men accused of robbing the convoy of a wealthy Saudi prince in the north of Paris in August 2014 began Tuesday, May 4 before the Paris Assize Court.
The seven defendants, five of whom appear free, face up to thirty years in prison for “organized gang robbery“And”conspiracy“. The attack for which they are tried before the Assize Court had been spectacular. The main victim was none other than Saudi Prince Abdel Aziz Ben Fahd, one of the sons of former King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.
The facts date back to August 17, 2014. That evening, the prince left the Hotel George-V near the Champs-Élysées, one of the most luxurious palaces in the capital owned by the Saudi royal family, to join the Bourget airport (north of Paris). His sedan leaves the palace accompanied by a dozen other limousines. A Viano utility vehicle leads the way. The white minivan is a real safe on wheels carrying cash and jewelry. At the Porte de la Chapelle, the van was blocked by two BMWs. Armed and hooded men and “obviously well informed»Seize the utility with its three occupants on board. The three passengers of the Viano will be released unharmed soon after. The robbers flee without having fired a shot. The Viano and the two stolen BMWs were later found empty and set on fire in Seine-et-Marne.
The robbers got their hands on at least 250,000 euros and a few hundred thousand dollars in cash, luxury watches and Saudi diplomatic documents. The investigation quickly turned to a team of criminals known to the police. But investigators lacked evidence to stop them. A “background work“Is undertaken, in particular on”financial flowsAround these suspects. A crackdown took place in May 2015 with the arrest of a dozen people. Six of them are finally indicted and imprisoned, a seventh person will be arrested in July 2017.
Only one of the accused, Ludovic Lempereur, in pre-trial detention like Maillguy Gatt, the only two accused in the box, admitted his participation in the facts, namely the theft of the two BMWs used in the robbery. He told investigators that he had not seen what had happened near the Porte de la Chapelle, or if any weapons had been used. He said he only acted with “BulgariansWhich he did not identify. But, according to the prosecution, “detailed billing analysis“From the lines of the accused, as well as”operation of video surveillance», «undermine the credibility of the denials of the indicted“. The trial is scheduled until May 21.