Eight men have been charged over heists of millions in luxury goods from Chanel and Chopard boutiques in Paris, a source close to the investigation said Saturday. Robbers made off with one million euros (1.1 million US dollars ) from the Chopard shop, just off the Champs-Elysees, during a December hold-up, said the source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Then in May armed men snatched 2.2 million euros in watches and jewellery from a Chanel store in the city's chic Avenue Montaigne, home to many luxury stores. The men, who are in police custody, were charged overnight from Thursday to Friday with conspiring to commit theft in an organised gang. Some were also charged with armed robbery, the source said.

Police tracked down the suspects using surveillance footage, tips and phone data. None of the stolen goods were recovered during police raids. The suspects have denied any involvement in the crimes, the source said. In recent years, Paris has been struck by r e peated raids on its legendary luxury goods shops.

In 2014, there were several spectacular armed raids on Place Vendome in which jewels worth between 420,000 and two million euros were seized. And as recently as Thursday, three robbers with pump-action shotguns raided a Chanel boutique in central Paris. (AFP)





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