The Pink Panther Gang: how Serbian robbers kept the world jewelry market at bay

The Pink Panthers are a legendary criminal group that includes hundreds of people. The backbone of the organization were Serbian veterans of the Balkan War, who after the end of the conflict engaged in crime. Over 30 years of active activity, the panthers stole jewelry worth $ 640 million. Most of the loot was never found. In total, the Serbian Panthers have carried out 380 armed raids around the world.

The Pink Panther Gang: how Serbian robbers kept the world jewelry market at bay

At the end of May 2003, a man in his thirties entered the London luxury jewelry store Graff. He stood near the counter and asked the sellers to help him choose jewelry. A minute later, a man with a pistol burst into the jewelry boutique, who took the staff at gunpoint, and the fake buyer began to open the showcases with a screwdriver and rake earrings, rings and necklaces from the shelves.

The Pink Panther Gang: how Serbian robbers kept the world jewelry market at bay

London's New Bond Street, where the most expensive boutiques are located

In two minutes, the robbers robbed the store and with a bag of jewelry totaling 7 million pounds rushed to run along New Bond Street. London boutiques on this elite street are guarded by professionals who quickly caught up with the raiders and started a fight with them. During the struggle, one of the robbers fired a pistol and wounded a woman who witnessed the fight.

The Pink Panther Gang: how Serbian robbers kept the world jewelry market at bay

Arrested Montenegrin robbers

The police found out that the arrested were Montenegrins Nebojsa Denic and Milan Jovetic. In the hotel room of the criminals, the police found a blue diamond hidden in a cream jar. The organizer of the raid was the legendary bandit from Montenegro Predrag Vujosevic, nicknamed Marko, who was detained in Paris.

Because of the scope and style of the robbers, the police among themselves called the gang "Pink Panthers" by analogy with the 1963 film. Six months later it turned out that this robbery was not the last, and the half-joking name was included in the Interpol reports.

The Pink Panther Gang: how Serbian robbers kept the world jewelry market at bay

The plot of the 1963 comedy film revolves around the theft of the world's largest diamond

The Pink Panthers are a conglomerate of criminals from the former Yugoslavia. The group was based on Serbian veterans of the Balkan War from Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Croatia. They specialized exclusively in robbing jewelry stores and stock exchanges around the world. These raiders were distinguished by audacity and creativity.

The Pink Panther Gang: how Serbian robbers kept the world jewelry market at bay

The grouping consisted of several cells whose members were not familiar with each other. The leaders of the gang also remained in the shadows and passed orders through their henchmen, hiring performers for the crimes they planned. Interpol found out that there were more than 200 people in the gang, and the sale of looted jewelry took place through the international drug mafia, with which the Serbian criminals established a connection back in the 90s.

The Pink Panther Gang: how Serbian robbers kept the world jewelry market at bay

According to Interpol, most of the "Pink Panthers" came from the Serbian town of Nis

The bandits spoke foreign languages, thought through the actions to the smallest detail and were distinguished by audacity. They often posed as respectable businessmen and never killed.

In December 2003, two Montenegrins, Vladimir Lekic and Zoran Kostic, stole 18 luxury watches worth 400 thousand euros from a store in Frankfurt am Main. In March 2004 in Tokyo panthers raided the jewelry store Le Supre-Diamant Couture de Maki and stole jewelry worth 17 million pounds. The necklace of the Countess of Vendome also fell into the hands of the robbers.

The Pink Panther Gang: how Serbian robbers kept the world jewelry market at bay

The necklace of the Countess de The vendome consists of 116 diamonds, including a 125-carat stone in the central part

It was the biggest robbery in Japan, and it was committed by Serbs - Dordi Razovich, Alexander Radulovich, Snezhana Panayotovich and a Scottish citizen Dorothy Fasola. The raid took only 36 seconds. The raiders escaped from the chase on motorcycles and flew to Paris on the same day.

The Pink Panther Gang: how Serbian robbers kept the world jewelry market at bay

Footage of a robbery involving panthers

In 2007, the Pink Panthers returned to Tokyo and robbed a jewelry store in the prestigious Ginza district. This time the robber was alone, and he escaped from the crime scene on a bicycle.

The Pink Panther Gang: how Serbian robbers kept the world jewelry market at bay

Robbery of a Tokyo jewelry store in 2007

On August 30, 2005, panthers in bright shirts and beach hats entered the Saint-Tropez jewelry store and stole jewelry from it. While the police blocked the city streets and ambushed the roads, the robbers fled by motorboat and waited out the raids in the room of the elite Saint Maxim Hotel. On January 31, 2006, four masked robbers robbed a jewelry store in Liechtenstein.

During the robbery of a store in Milan, the panthers drove into a shopping center on motorcycles

The police managed to detain one of the robbers named Milos Jovanovic, who was helped to escape from prison by the panthers six months later. The most striking robbery took place on April 15, 2007 in Dubai. Serbian raiders in two Audi cars broke into the Wafi Mall. In a minute and a half, bandits armed with pistols robbed the Graff store and took out 3 million euros worth of jewelry.

The Pink Panther Gang: how Serbian robbers kept the world jewelry market at bay

Serbian robbers' cars in Wafi Mall

The panthers took a lot of loot in Paris. On December 15, 2008, armed criminals disguised as women entered the Harry Winston jewelry store and, threatening with grenades, stole diamonds and watches worth 8 million euros. Two months later, the same fate befell the Milan jewelry boutique Damiani. This time, the Serbs made a tunnel under the store and stole valuables worth 32 million euros.

In 2013, the Panthers raided the Carlton Hotel in Cannes and stole diamonds worth $ 136 million from the solo exhibition of Israeli millionaire Lev Levaev. It was the biggest jewelry theft in history. However, for the panthers, this is also their "swan song". Interpol found out the identities of the main leaders of the group, and international police detectives searched and arrested them all over the world.

The Pink Panther Gang: how Serbian robbers kept the world jewelry market at bay

Robber Vinko Osmakcic arrested in the robbery of a store in Monaco

Since 2003, 90 members of the Pink Panther have been detained. The last case of catching robbers occurred in August 2016. In Barcelona, on Passeo de Gracia Avenue, five Serbs robbed a jewelry store in 48 seconds, but immediately after the crime they were arrested by the Spanish police.

On July 25, the robber Milan Poparic and his friend Andran Albrecht escaped from a Swiss prison. The panthers stole a van, which smashed the entrance to the prison and helped the accomplices to get out. At the same time, they shot at the guards.

The Pink Panther Gang: how Serbian robbers kept the world jewelry market at bay

In Serbia, the "Pink Panthers" are unofficial folk heroes, proving to the West, which recently bombed their country, that ordinary people can take their own with the help of strength and intelligence. Serbs consider robbers noble robbers who do not kill people and rob only the rich.

Keywords: Bandits | Jewelry | Interpol | Crime | Robbery

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