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Spain arrests Pink Panther jewelry theft suspect


MADRID >> A suspected member of the notorious Pink Panther gang of jewelry thieves believed responsible for hundreds of robberies across the world has been arrested in Spain, police said Thursday.

Borko Ilincic, 33, was arrested in the central town of Alcala de Henares on Tuesday, police said in a statement. The Serbian was carrying a false Bosnian passport.

A National Court official said a judge on Wednesday ordered that Ilincic be kept in jail while the United Arab Emirates starts extradition proceedings. He can be held up to 40 days.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the regulations of his job bar him from identifying himself by name.

Interpol says Ilincic is a suspect in the 2007 Wafi Mall robbery in Dubai where the robbers made off with around $15 million in jewelry.

The Pink Panther group, named after the 1963 movie starring Peter Sellers, is believed to be a loose network of some 800 criminals, which Interpol suspects is behind nearly 300 robberies in 35 countries since 1999, stealing jewelry worth some $478 million.

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