14 charged with stealing €5 million worth of classified growths in Bordeaux

Tuesday December 22 2020 by Vitisphere

 During their raids, the police and gendarmes found cases from prestigious estates, with bottles ranging in size “up to the Mathusalem (6 litres)”. During their raids, the police and gendarmes found cases from prestigious estates, with bottles ranging in size “up to the Mathusalem (6 litres)”. - Photo credit : Gendarmerie Nationale (section des recherches de Bordeaux)

French police hauled in a huge catch on December 8, bringing in an extensive network of fences and burglars of Bordeaux negociants and warehouse operators dealing in great growths. At 6 am, 76 policemen and 140 gendarmes were called out to arrest 25 “people in organised gangs in the Gironde, Dordogne and Loire for robberies and thefts of great growths in the Bordeaux region”, said the Bordeaux investigation section of the Gendarmerie on Facebook.

This large-scale, joint operation puts an end to months of investigations following “several gang break-in robberies at warehouses belonging to merchants or warehouse operators in the city of Bordeaux” in autumn 2019 and “three night-time break-in robberies at warehouses in Carbon-Blanc and in a supermarket in Léognan” at the beginning of 2020. Combined, the thefts amount to 5 million euros in stolen property reported the daily newspaper Sud-Ouest. The paper also indicated that “among the suspects is the person presumed to be running the operation, a 55-year-old Asian businessman from Bordeaux, who has previously worked in the restaurant industry and is known to the legal authorities”.

After monitoring deeds by “a team of experienced thieves” and their fences, the dedicated investigation group dismantled this extensive network in a year. “At the end of police custody, 14 people were presented to two investigating magistrates to be charged. Seven suspects were placed in remand and seven under legal supervision”, said the gendarmes, who went on to say that during their raids they had found almost a thousand bottles worth a million euros of Grands Crus Classés from Bordeaux – Chateaux Lafite-Rothschild, Margaux and Yquem – but also Domaine de la Romanée Conti from Burgundy, along with 150,000 euros in cash and 200,000 euros in accounts.

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