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21 suspects in gold thefts go on trial

September 07, 2007|From Times Wire Reports

A group of 21 Eastern Europeans went on trial in southern France, accused of stealing gold jewelry in thousands of robberies and melting it down to sell.

Prosecutors said the suspects were involved in nearly 2,700 robberies in and around Marseille in 2004 and 2005, and that most of the melted gold was sold in Italy.

They said police seized 1,275 items of jewelry, 40 pounds of gold, $18,280 in cash and nine stolen vehicles.

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