Paris robbery of reality TV star

Kim Kardashian was threatened at gunpoint

Kim Kardashian.
Kim Kardashian.

PARIS • A French newspaper on Sunday published reality television star Kim Kardashian's testimony to police of how a robber threatened her at gunpoint when she refused to hand over a ring worth millions of dollars.

In the account of the Paris robbery, she described how she was bound and gagged and said one of the gang members was wearing a jacket emblazoned with police insignia.

The Journal du Dimanche said it had exclusive access to the handwritten report based on her account, in which she said the robbers seemed "inexperienced".

The newspaper also said it had a transcript of a brief interview given to police after the masked men burst into Kardashian's luxury residence last October, taking jewellery worth €9 million (S$13.7 million).

Police last week made arrests in Paris and the south of France and 10 suspects have been charged, including the alleged ringleaders.

Investigators say the gang's key members were Aomar Ait Khedache and Didier Dubreucq, men in their 60s with long criminal pasts nicknamed "Old Omar" and "Blue Eyes".

In the Journal du Dimanche report, for which the newspaper did not provide English quotes, Kardashian, 36, said she heard noises at the door after returning from dinner after midnight.

 

Her bodyguard was absent, guarding her sister Kourtney at a nightclub.

"I saw through the sliding door two people coming," Kardashian said in comments translated from the newspaper's French account, adding that one of the men was wearing "a jacket with 'police' written on it".

"He asked me with a strong French accent where my ring was. It was on the bedside table. (But) I replied that I didn't know and then he pulled out a gun and I showed him the ring," she told police, adding it was worth US$4 million (S$5.7 million).

She told police the men tied her up with plastic cables and adhesive tape and carried her to the bathroom where they placed her in the bathtub.

The gang also took a box containing jewellery including two Cartier diamond bracelets, a diamond- studded necklace, a yellow gold Rolex watch and a diamond-encrusted cross.

The wife of rapper Kanye West said that, after the gang had put her in the bathroom, she heard the men talking to one another in French and had the impression they were saying they should leave.

Once they had fled, she managed to free herself - she told police she could tell the men were "kind of inexperienced in the way they tied me up".

The alleged mastermind, 60- year-old Khedache, has been charged, along with nine others.

Investigators have told Agence France-Presse that he had gone on the run six years ago while on trial for drug trafficking offences.

In September last year, an acquaintance gave him "a tip-off worth its weight in gold", according to one investigator - that Kardashian and her entourage would be staying at a discreet apartment-hotel complex in Paris' chic Madeleine district to attend catwalk shows during fashion week. He recruited Dubreucq, 61, who had previous convictions for robbery and drugs.

Khedache's lawyer Jean-Yves Lienard said the gang was "completely amateurish".

His own client left traces of his DNA on the plastic cable and the tape they used to tie up Kardashian.

Khedache "has admitted taking part in the robbery, but has refused to speak about any accomplices and denies he was the mastermind", Mr Lienard said.

He told Mr Lienard the jewellery was passed to another party.

Khedache was seen in the Belgian city of Antwerp, one of the world centres of the diamond industry, with another suspect, 64-year-old Marceau Baum-Gartner, a few days after the robbery.

French police had placed other members of the gang under surveillance and spotted four of them meeting at a Paris bar last month.

Investigators believe they were discussing how to divide the spoils of the robbery. Around €250,000 was found in the police raids last week.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 17, 2017, with the headline 'Kim Kardashian was threatened at gunpoint'. Print Edition | Subscribe