Two out of the four armed robbers who held up the Cartier jewellery shop in Monte-Carlo in March 2017 have been sentenced to long jail sentences. Walid Bekkada was given a 10-year jail sentence, while Sofiane Gallah was jailed for seven years. They were also ordered to pay a total of 86,000 euros in damages and civil compensation.
The other two culprits will face trial in the neighbouring French department.
The gang escaped with 127 jewels worth an estimated six million euros. Six of the seven Cartier employees at the Place du Casino store declined to give evidence at the trial, saying they would not want to face the defendants again, albeit under different circumstances. Only the security guard on duty at the time took the stand as a prosecution witness.
The Monaco police responded swiftly once the alarm was raised, the Monaco Criminal Court was told. The Principality was soon put under lockdown, but following the setting of a fire close to the Portier tunnel as a distraction, a car chase took place and two suspects were cornered at Roquebrune Cap Martin.
Meanwhile, Tamara Ecclestone, the daughter of former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone, had an estimated £50 million-worth of jewellery stolen in a raid from her west London home during last weekend.
PHOTO: Monaco’s Cartier outlet Cartier