A Chinese man suspected to be involved in diamond heists around the world has been arrested in Switzerland during another attempted robbery, the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) said last Friday.
Meng Jianguo, 46, is linked to at least 14 robberies or attempted thefts in various countries since 2012, including in Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, France, Germany, Malaysia, Monaco, Switzerland and the UK, according to a statement.
In 2012, Meng was jailed for eight months in Monaco following an attempted theft, and was then transferred to France to serve his sentence in connection with some Paris incidents. Following the theft of a diamond ring worth US$1.5 million in November 2013 in Bahrain, Meng was subject to an Interpol Red Notice, or international wanted persons alert.
In each case, Meng and an accomplice were said to have entered a store and asked to be shown a selection of high-end diamond rings. When the rings were put out on the counter, the suspects would distract the salesperson by asking for directions or a business card, and then steal a ring.
The duo was arrested in Zurich when an employee of a jewelry store recognized Meng from the industry alert and called police.
Meng is now awaiting extradition to Bahrain to face charges in connection with the theft there.
Interpol said it is investigating at least two Chinese organized criminal groups operating in a similar manner to Meng.
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