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14 February 2011

Pink Panthers' investigators come together to share cases and experiences

DUBAI - Police officers from 27 countries working on cases related to the “Pink Panthers” groups of jewel thieves came together in Dubai this week to share ongoing investigations and successful arrests.

The 5th Working Group on the Pink Panthers takes place from 14-16 February and brings together more than 65 investigators working on cases linked to the Pink Panthers, a name given by INTERPOL to describe the loosely-aligned groups of criminals who target luxury watch and jewellery shops in armed and non-armed raids.

Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Deputy Commandant General of the Dubai Police, told participants that the United Arab Emirates has had to upgrade its training and technology to fight new crimes witnessed as a result of a decade of strong economic growth. “INTERPOL is a crucial partner for these crime-fighting activities,” he added.

INTERPOL’s Pink Panthers project aims to assist law enforcers to identify, locate and apprehend perpetrators by centralizing data on the crimes and criminals, analyzing the information, and building networks of investigators, such as through the working groups.  This sharing of information and data enables investigators to make links between countries that might not otherwise be noticed.

INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble praised the work of the investigators, noting the arrests of 36 members of the Pink Panthers last year. “Thanks to your hard work, perseverance and commitment to international police cooperation, the once seemingly untouchable Pink Panthers are now suffering major losses,” he said.

In the past year alone, INTERPOL’s member countries have reported 31 new cases linked to Pink Panthers, bringing the total number of robberies to more than 270 across four continents since 1999, worth in excess of 300 million euros.