15 May 2013, 10:11

‘Pink Panther’ jewel thief flees Swiss prison

The Bois-Mermet prison in Lausanne, Switzerland, where the prison break took place on 14 May 2013
The Bois-Mermet prison in Lausanne, Switzerland, where the prison break took place on 14 May 2013
The Bois-Mermet prison in Lausanne, Switzerland, where the prison break took place on 14 May 2013

Five prisoners, including a member of the notorious “Pink Panther” gang of international jewel thieves, have scaled the walls of a Swiss jail to freedom, after they threatened guards with guns passed over by their accomplices from the outside.

It took the multinational group of inmates – an Albanian, a Bosnian, a Frenchman, a Kosovar and a Serbian “Pink Panther” thief – just some five minutes to make the escape, investigators say. They were together with 30 convicted criminals in a walled-in prison courtyard when three of their accomplices climbed the wall using a ladder and threw a bag of weapons and other devices over the fence.

The five men instantly grabbed the guns to threaten guards and other detainees, who they sprayed with some irritant to keep them away. The outlaws then continued to cut their way through the fence that blocked their way to the prison wall with pliers from the bag. After reaching the wall, the five scaled it using ladders and fled in two cars. A sixth inmate was caught when he tried to follow suit.

The four of the escapees are convicted of robberies, thefts, as well as drug and arms violations, while the fifth is a 45-year-old “Pink Panther” gang member. The criminal ring of former Yugoslavia paramilitaries got its name after UK investigators found a diamond ring hidden in a jar of face cream, echoing an episode of a same-name cartoon.

Voice of Russia, The Telegraph

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