French gendarmes round up wine thieves

10th February, 2014 by Rupert Millar

Some 20 people have been arrested across France in a series of dawn raids by French gendarmes in a major crackdown on a gang of wine thieves.

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Gendarmes on the raid this morning, photo credit: Stéphane Lartigue

The raids took place across several departments in the South West of France and in Paris, in an operation dubbed “Cassevin”.

According to Sud-Ouest, around 300 officers were involved in the early morning raids, the culmination of an investigation spanning many months.

The gang are thought to have been behind a series of spectacular break-ins at prestigious Bordeaux châteaux since June last year.

Although the names of the estates the gang in question are thought to have hit have not so far been revealed, Yquem suffered a major theft last year, as did Château Palmer although the bottles from there were recovered and the perpetrators arrested.

The cost of the thefts runs into millions of euros.

The thieves have been described as “well organised” and some of those arrested were apparently “known to police”.

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