Here’s an interesting story. Last Sunday, an anonymous Saudi Prince’s convoy was robbed en route to a Paris airport from a swanky, Saudi-owned luxury hotel. Police suspect the theft was a well planned, inside job because the stolen car appeared to be selected for its valuable contents.
The robbers, said to number between five and eight, seized the Mercedes and its three occupants – as well as €250,000 and what Le Parisien newspaper described as sensitive documents.
Soon afterwards the robbers released the hostages and abandoned the vehicle, which was found an hour later in Saint-Mesmes, a village in the Ile-de-France region north-east of Paris, along with one of the BMWs. Both vehicles were burnt out.
There have been several recent robberies in Paris targeting wealthy foreigners including another Saudi Royal in July and the daughter of the Mayor of Kiev in 2010. Six million dollars in jewels were stolen in that heist. Law enforcement suspects Balkan gangs are involved in the surprise attacks that are completed within moments.
What sets this robbery apart is the theft of “sensitive documents” from Saudi Embassy.
But the matter of the so-called ‘sensitive documents’ remains. Are they, as the Saudi intelligence veteran suggests, just the passports of the entourage? Or could they be something more serious and sinister? Various Saudi princes, after all, have been major sources of covert funding for operations as diverse as Iran-Contra in the 1980s and, more recently, jihadist operations in Syria. (Ties to the infamous ISIS in Syria and Iraq are less clear.) Some French politicians also have been known to accept the largesse of Arab benefactors. So it’s conceivable, if unlikely, that the sensitive documents are very sensitive indeed.
Of course, the documents could be nothing important at all. Most likely, we will never know.
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