“These arrests are the product of a long investigation. These 17 individuals are suspected to have directly participated in the crime.” a spokesperson for the Paris prosecutor’s office told WWD earlier this week. The arrests took place in Paris and its suburbs, as well as in Normandy and on the French Riviera.
Investigators have identified a 60-year old man from the southeastern Paris suburb of Créteil as the ringleader, France Info radio said. The man was reportedly found thanks to DNA traces found at the scene. Authorities are also charging his female companion, who is thought to have introduced members of the gang and relayed their communications by telephone.
Also on the list is the second of the two armed robbers who entered the luxury apartment where Kardashian was staying, threatened the star at gunpoint and left her tied up in the bathroom after lifting belongings including her 20-carat engagement ring to rapper Kanye West and two cellphones.
Three others individuals who acted as look-outs will also be prosecuted, according to French media. However, Kardashian’s long-time driver in Paris was released Thursday night after nearly four days in police custody. His 27-year-old brother is still being held and will face charges for abetting the gang theft.
The others include an alleged reseller of stolen goods who is believed to have helped traffick the loot.
The jewels stolen from Kardashian have still not been found. Authorities are looking into potential ties between certain suspects of the gang and jewelers in Antwerp’s diamond district, the Paris prosecutor’s office said.