PARIS — French investigators have found jewels valued at $25 million — part of the spectacular 2008 heist from luxury jeweler Harry Winston's Paris boutique — hidden in a Paris rain sewer.
Nineteen rings and three sets of earrings — one pair valued at $19.5 million — were dug up from a drain at a house in the working class Paris suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis, police said, confirming a report on Europe-1 radio.Story: Robbers in drag net $100 million in Paris heist
The jewels were hidden in a plastic container set in a cement mold inside the sewer, police said. The house belonged to one of the nine people charged in the heist.
The bold robbery on Dec. 5, 2008, netted the thieves — some dressed as women and wearing wigs — gems and bejeweled watches worth up to $118.1 million, police said at the time. More recently, police have set the figure at $85 million.
The Harry Winston boutique is on a street off Paris' famed Champs-Elysees Avenue dotted with fashion houses and cafes.
The robbery, carried out while Christmas shoppers strolled outside, was among the most audacious in France in recent memory.
Some stolen rings, necklaces and watches were recovered when police rounded up 25 people in a June 2009 sweep and eventually charged nine of them.Story: 25 arrested in 2008 Paris jewelry heist
Among those charged was the heist's suspected mastermind, who had been sentenced to 15 years in prison in a drug trafficking case.
Police found stolen jewellery and the equivalent of $1.1 million in cash at this house.
When investigators learned that an Israeli was expected in Paris to buy some of the stolen jewels, police moved in to make the arrests.
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