In October, French hotel industry drew public attention because of two large crimes. Just a few weeks after Kim Kardashian had been robbed inside her luxury suite at a Paris hotel, the head of the famous five-star Grand Hotel in Cannes was kidnapped, raising questions whether VIPs really become victims of criminal gangs more often in France.
Jacqueline Veyrac, 76, was blindfolded and hustled into a car near her home in Cannes. According to a pharmacy employee, she left the shop and was almost immediately snatched by unknown men. It was the employee who called the police. Veyrac is a local woman who is well-known and respected in the neighborhood. She and her late husband bought the Grand Hotel in Cannes in the 1950s.
The woman was found two days later thanks to a lucky coincidence. Veyrac was kept tied in the back of a parked van. The resident of the area, where the van was parked, felt the vehicle had a fake plate number, so he reported his doubts to the police. The police checked the car and found the kidnapped president inside. Her family did not pay any ransom, though, the police found a note demanding several million euro. This is not the first time that Mrs Veyrac draws attention of criminals as she was the target of another kidnapping attempt three years ago. Detectives investigate possible connection between the two acts. Six suspects have been placed under investigation, including the possible leader Guiseppe Serena.
The Cote d’Azur attracts not only rich people, but also numerous high-end criminals. The Balkan gang that calls themselves The Pink Panthers has stolen from shops and private residences jewelry worth more than US$372 million since 1999. As many as 380 heists have become victims of the gang.