Tokyo police have arrested 3 Chinese people who they suspect are members of the “Pink Panda” crime gang for allegedly stealing jewelry at a trade fair in January last year.
Police believe the suspects stole a diamond ring worth 2.8 million yen, or about 25,000 dollars, at the fair, one of Japan’s biggest trade shows for gems.
Investigators identified the suspects based on security camera footage, but by then all 3 had returned to China.
The suspects returned to Japan to attend this year’s fair, where police were waiting for them with arrest warrants. They reportedly told investigators they did nothing wrong.
Police are still trying to confirm that they belong to the Chinese “Pink Panda” crime ring, an outfit that operates mostly in Europe. French investigators coined the term, which combines the name of the notorious Pink Panther theft gang and the Chinese panda.
Pink Panda members typically pretend to be customers. They talk to shop clerks in Chinese to distract them, and, when they get a chance, replace genuine jewels with fakes.
In 2015, police arrested 2 Chinese for stealing a diamond ring worth about 170,000 dollars from a Tokyo store in January that year.
French investigators said the 2 were likely Pink Panda members.
Source and image: NHK