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French thieves pose as Gulf Arab tourists, rob hotel guests

French thieves pose as Gulf Arab tourists, rob hotel guests

The thieves pretended to have lost their keys in order to gain access to the rooms of wealthy Arab tourists at luxury hotels in Europe

French police have arrested two thieves who posed as wealthy Gulf Arab tourists and robbed a number of hotel rooms, officials said.

The thieves, who would find out the room numbers of wealthy Arab tourists, reportedly gained access by pretending they were guests who had lost their keycards.

They then used a stethoscope to ensure the rooms were empty before entering them and removing the safes with a hammer and chisel. These would then be placed in suitcases for transport outside of the hotel.

The thefts happened in a number of high-end hotels in Paris and on the Riviera before the two were apprehended in central France last week. They were arrested after being identified through surveillance videos.

According to a report by France’s RTL radio, police recovered jewellery, luxury clothing and varied Arab currency worth Dhs 328,534 among the suspects’ possessions. The thieves also had about 20 hotel key cards, the station added.

Europe is a popular destination for Gulf Arab tourists during the summer months. Arab visitors also account for a sizeable chunk of spending within these countries.

However, their flashy behaviour has attracted criticism from local residents and at times even prompted robberies.

Recently the UAE issued a warning to all its citizens travelling abroad to avoid flaunting expensive clothing or accessories to ensure their safety in a foreign country. The ministry urged citizens to follow travel guidelines and procedures of the countries that they visit.

The warning follows an incident in the UK last year where three Emirati sisters were attacked and robbed in a luxury London hotel. The attacker bludgeoned the sisters with a hammer, leaving them seriously injured, and fled with a suitcase filled with iPads, gold jewellery and mobile phones.

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