Six arrested for armed robberies of jewellery shops across Europe

14 June 2021
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Press Release/News

This News/Press release is about Organised property crime

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An organised crime group behind a sting of violent armed robberies committed across Europe has been dismantled as a result of an international investigation facilitated by Europol.

A total of six individuals – all Estonian nationals – were arrested over the course of the past two years.

The smash-and-grab gang, armed with large hammers and a handgun, would hold up at gunpoint the employees of jewellery shops, before breaking the glass counters and running off with the jewellery. 

This organised crime group has been linked to two robberies in Bastia (France) in 2016 and 2017, one attempted robbery in Venice (Italy) in 2017 and one robbery in Innsbruck (Austria) in 2017.

The investigation into these robberies was carried out by the French Police (Police Nationale), together with the Italian Carabinieri Corps (Arma dei Carabinieri), the Austrian Federal Police (Bundespolizei), the Finnish Police (Poliisi) and the Estonian Police (Politsei- ja Piirivalveamet).

The international coordination was carried out by Europol who brought together in 2017 the national investigators who have since been working closely together. Since then, Europol has provided continuous intelligence development and analysis to support the field investigators.

This operation was carried out in the framework of the European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats (EMPACT). 


In 2010 the European Union set up a four-year Policy Cycle to ensure greater continuity in the fight against serious international and organised crime. In 2017 the Council of the EU decided to continue the EU Policy Cycle for the 2018 - 2021 period. It aims to tackle the most significant threats posed by organised and serious international crime to the EU. This is achieved by improving and strengthening cooperation between the relevant services of EU Member States, institutions and agencies, as well as non-EU countries and organisations, including the private sector where relevant. Property Crime is one of the priorities for the Policy Cycle.