Seventeen suspects including chauffeur arrested and detained in connection with Kim Kardashian jewellery heist
Police has confirmed that they are questioning Kim Kardashian West’s Paris chauffeur after a series of arrests connected to a robbery in October 2016 in which the US reality TV star lost jewels and other property worth around €9m.
Paris police sources confirmed that the chauffeur, Michael Madar, 40, and his brother Gary Madar, 27, were among the arrested and worked for the same livery company. The Kardashian West’s chauffeur, who on the day of the heist had dropped off Kardashian West at the apartment where she was staying during Paris fashion week, was among those helping their inquiries.
They were questioning the chauffeur to establish whether he had tipped off the gang that Kardashian West was alone in the flat in the exclusive 8th arrondissement after her bodyguard left to accompany her sister, Kourtney Kardashian, to a nightclub.
On Monday, Ms Kardashian’s French lawyer Jean Veil had intimated it was an inside job, saying: “They must have received information. From whom? The investigation will determine this and the police no doubt already know the answer.”
Police identified two of the suspects from fingerprints left at the luxury apartment from where Kardashian West had €9m (£7.8m) in jewels and valuables snatched during Paris fashion week.
Having identified three suspects, French police put them under surveillance in order to track down their associates. The suspects, a number of them reportedly well known to detectives for armed robbery, were picked up in coordinated early morning raids, most of them in the Paris region, but also in Normandy and the French Riviera.
Police say they found a gun and cash as well as documents during the raids, but no trace of Kardashian’s jewellery. The youngest of those arrested is 22 and the oldest 72. Three of the 16 detainees are women, according to police.
A police source told L’Express magazine: “They are divided into three categories: those who are suspected of taking part in the robbery, those thought to have received the jewels and those suspected to have acted as intermediaries, mainly in acting as go-betweens.”
L’Express said a 72-year-old arrested in Grasse on the French Riviera and a 60-year-old from the Paris region were suspected to have been among the five masked men who allegedly entered Kardashian West’s apartment and tied her up at gunpoint. Other, younger suspects were thought to have played a secondary role, police said.
Video surveillance footage of the street outside the apartment show the gang leaving calmly on foot and on bicycles with their haul in a plastic bag. They allegedly left fingerprints and DNA on plastic handcuffs and tape used to restrain Kardashian West and on a platinum and diamond cross necklace that was dropped in the street.
Le Figaro reported that police found €300,000 in cash during the raids, but no trace of Kardashian West’s jewels, which included a €4m diamond engagement ring given to her by husband, Kanye West.
Detectives can hold the suspects for questioning for up to 96 hours.