PARIS - The French police arrested 16 people in raids on Monday over the armed robbery of American reality television star Kim Kardashian in Paris last year, following forensic work at the crime scene, police sources said.
Kardashian was tied up and robbed of jewellery worth around nine million euros when a gang of armed and masked men burst into the luxury Paris residence where she was staying during Fashion Week in October.
"One of the DNA samples matched an individual known to police for robbery and criminal offences, who is considered a major thug," the source said.
Using the evidence found at the scene, investigators were able to put in place a surveillance operation and build a picture of the criminal network behind the robbery, he said, adding that it stretched to Belgium.
Money and documents were also seized in Monday's raids.
It is believed that the men escaped on bicycles but one of the gang dropped a diamond pendant worth around 30,000 euros in the street outside. It was found by a passer-by and handed to the police several hours after the robbery.
Kardashian, 36, who is married to rap mogul Kanye West, finally broke her silence about the incident last weekend, saying she feared she was going to be killed by the robbers.
"They're going to shoot me in the back," she tells her sisters in a promotional clip for the new season of her hit reality show.
"There's no way out. It makes me so upset to think about it."