Chinese suspect in jewelry thefts arrested in Switzerland

Updated: 2014-09-15 06:53

By Agence France-Presse in Paris(China Daily)

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A Chinese jewelry theft suspect accused of stealing millions of dollars' worth of diamonds across the world has been arrested in Switzerland during another heist, Interpol said on Friday.

Chinese citizen Jianguo Meng, 46, is linked to more than a dozen thefts since 2012, including that of a diamond ring worth $1.5 million from Bahrain last year, and was subject to an Interpol Red Notice, the international police organization said.

"Meng and an accomplice were arrested in Zurich when a jewelry store employee recognized 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 thefts in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Malaysia, Monaco, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, and always operated in tandem with another individual.

"In each case, two suspects entered the store and asked to be shown a selection of high-end diamond rings," the statement said. "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 organized criminal groups operating in a similar manner to Meng.

(China Daily 09/15/2014 page5)