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26 April 2013

French police break up international burglary network with support from INTERPOL and Europol

Nearly 20 individuals suspected of being part of a network of Georgian nationals linked to hundreds of burglaries and thefts across Paris have been arrested following an operation led by French police and supported by INTERPOL and Europol.

The suspected ringleader of the group, a Georgian national wanted by Swiss authorities after escaping from prison, was among those arrested as part of the investigation led by France’s Office Central de Lutte contre la Délinquance Itinérante and the Service d'Investigation Transversale a specialist crime unit in Paris.

The criminal network is believed to be responsible for a series of residential and commercial thefts across the French capital and its suburbs. During the operational phase, an INTERPOL Incident Response Team deployed to Paris assisted in the identification of those arrested through fingerprint scanning, provision of access to INTERPOL’s global databases and message exchange with its National Central Bureaus (NCBs), with significant support provided by NCB Tbilisi.

During the investigation, Europol provided on-the-spot support through forensic analysis of seized phones, exchange of criminal intelligence and cross referencing of seized data/intelligence against their databases via a mobile office.

This is the second such investigation led by French authorities supported by INTERPOL and Europol, with similar operations already planned for the future.