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Place du Casino Robbery: Investigation Underway

How did the Serbian criminal penetrate the Casino jewelry store with a weapon, take a shopkeeper hostage and try to escape?

On Thursday afternoon, the armed individual stole several precious objects from the jewelry store located in the casino before fleeing on foot.

The ordeal was on everyone’s lips. The armed robbery which took place in Monte-Carlo on Thursday afternoon created a certain emotion in the Principality. Contrary to the official information communicated on Thursday night (Monaco Matin, 23rd of December), the robbery took place within the walls of the Casino of Monte-Carlo, and not at the Hotel de Paris. But still at the Grad jewelry store, once located at the Hotel de Paris which migrated to the Casino several months ago because of renovations in the palace.

Neutralized in eight minutes

Still, the incident raised a flood of questions. How could a man penetrate the casino with a gun on him, when there are guards in the forecourt searching the incoming public, who have to pass through a metal detector? “We have to label him as a very professional individual” – stresses Patrice Cellario, counselor for the Government-Minister of the Interior who awaits the conclusions of the current investigation.

“What I know is the commitment of the Police agents on-site who managed to neutralize the man without using violence only eight minutes after the alert was given.”

The armed individual, a 44-year-old Serb, was intercepted after leaving the jewelry shop, taking a shopkeeper hostage. The man and his victim descended a few tens of meters of the pedestrian alley along the Casino together.

When he let go of his hostage, the thief was intercepted by Public Security agents when he tried to use a taxi on avenue des Spélugues. With him, a loot of ten rings, worth several million Euros. The stolen goods were intercepted at the time of his arrest.

Yesterday, the criminal was kept in custody for 24 extra hours. As the charges against him are criminal in nature, his detention on remand must be requested at the opening of judicial information after forty-eight hours in custody. “The investigation is progressing very well,” was reported to the Attorney General’s office. Next step for the criminal: a trial before the Monegasque criminal court.

Security Reinforced for the Holidays

Christmas village on Hercules harbor
Christmas village on Hercules harbor

“Zero risk does not exist,” argues Patrice Cellario, adviser for Government-Minister of the Interior, in regards to the robbery at the Place du Casino.

However, during this holiday period, security systems have been strengthened for several days in the Principality, where tourists are beginning to flock. The increased security isn’t linked with the robbery of the jewelry shop at the Casino, but is a response to the enhanced watch in public places throughout Europe.

 Guards for December 31st

“In general, police agents ensure security on a daily basis and especially during Christmas holidays so that residents and visitors can benefit from complete tranquility.” For the Christmas village on Hercules harbor, the security system set up for the fair-attractions this autumn has been renewed, an arsenal of protection that will also be in place during the New Year’s Eve party. “Even if there will be no fireworks this year, we know that this evening normally attracts a large crowd on the Hercules port. The security services will adapt accordingly, ”promises Patrice Cellario. At entrance points to the Christmas village, guards systematically search the visitors.

Source: Monaco Matin

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