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11 April 2013

Pink Panthers investigators come together to share cases and experiences

VIENNA, Austria - Police officers from 20 countries working on cases related to the “Pink Panthers” groups of jewel thieves came together in Vienna this week to share information regarding ongoing investigations and successful arrests.

The 7th Working Group on the Pink Panthers (11 and 12 April) brings together 60 investigators working on cases linked to the Pink Panthers criminal network of criminals who target luxury watch and jewellery stores in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the United States.

Doctor Ernst Geiger, Head of Department within the Criminal Intelligence Service of Austria, welcomed the investigators and said Austria is a strong supporter of the Pink Panthers initiative.

“One of the purposes of this meeting is to establish and strengthen personal contacts which will serve as the basis for the future police cooperation. In Austria, we have had many successful cases that were possible due to excellent police work and strong international cooperation. I am confident we will win the war against the Pink Panthers criminal network,” Dr Geiger added.

Minister of Interior, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, expressed her wishes for the success of the Pink Panthers conference and said she anticipated that the ongoing exchange of information would lead to more positive outcomes in the future.

INTERPOL’s Pink Panthers project aims to assist law enforcers to identify, locate and apprehend perpetrators by centralizing data on the crimes and criminals, analysing 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.

In the past year alone, INTERPOL’s member countries have reported 23 new cases linked to Pink Panthers, bringing the total number of robberies to more than 341 across four continents since 1999, worth in excess of EUR 330 million.

In the framework of the Pink Panthers project, in 2012 INTERPOL assisted member countries in the case of D.B., the leader of an organized crime group, and linked to a number of armed robberies against jewellery shops in multiple European countries.

After serving a prison sentence in The Netherlands, D.B. stood trial in Denmark, where a report on the Pink Panthers phenomenon written by INTERPOL analysts was used as a key part of the prosecution.