The motorcade of a Saudi prince was hit by thieves Sunday night, as armed men burst from two BMWs and carjacked a vehicle that contained 250,000 euros (about $335,000). The motorcade had been headed from a luxury hotel in Paris to an airport; police suspect the gunmen had inside knowledge.
"It's quite an unusual attack. They were obviously well-informed. It's true that it's quite a rare way of operating," a police source tells Agence France-Presse. Initial reports said the robbers were armed with AK-47s; since then, they've been said to have had handguns. No shots were reported to have been fired.
The AFP reports:
"The spectacular robbery took place in northern Paris late on Sunday as the motorcade was making its way from a plush hotel on the Champs Elysees to an airport in Le Bourget, said police, who confirmed there were no injuries. A gang of 'between five and eight' thieves in two BMWs hijacked the first of around 10 vehicles in the convoy, driving off with the three occupants before letting them go, police said."
The thieves left with a stolen Mercedes that was later found on fire, along with one of the BMWs. Police say the team of criminals seems to be fairly experienced.
In addition to the cash, the robbers made off with "sensitive documents," Le Parisien reports, citing a police source. But investigators do not yet know if those diplomatic papers might have been a target, along with the money.
It seems that the airport in question often accommodates private jets. According to Al Jazeera, "French officials refused to name the prince, who has since left the country for an unidentified destination."