Pink Panthers pulled €1bn Dresden heist, says woman who met them
It bears all their hallmarks, says the documentary maker who once filmed the criminal gang
On hearing about last week’s audacious Dresden museum heist, my thoughts turned to the gang of criminals I first met a decade ago. After all, not many thieves would have the wherewithal to carry off what is believed to be the biggest jewel grab in history, making off with an estimated €1bn (R16bn) in loot.
Among the treasures stolen from the Green Vault, one of Europe’s oldest art museums, is its most precious treasure: the “Dresden White”, a 49-carat diamond worth £9m (R170m). Augustus the Strong, the 18th-century prince of Saxony who founded the Vault, is said to have been so enraptured by its beauty that he paid $1m for it – an even more fabulous sum in 1728.
The audacity of the raid aside, there are other signs. The fact that the thieves made their escape in an Audi A6 (their car manufacturer of choice) and the meticulous planning that had gone into the operation: from torching an electricity box on a nearby bridge to knock out the alarm system, to selecting what police have described as “conspicuously small” gang members to squeeze through the museum’s window grille. CCTV footage shows them breaking into a display case with an axe...