Skip to main content

Gunmen seize papers, cash from Saudi Embassy convoy in Paris

By Marion Lory and Susannah Cullinane, CNN
updated 12:35 PM EDT, Mon August 18, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Saudi Arabia denies it was an embassy car
  • Gunmen stopped a Saudi convoy, seizing cash and diplomatic papers
  • A prince was in the convoy, but the men seemed focused on the contents of one vehicle, he said
  • Le Parisien website reported that the gunmen were armed with Kalashnikov rifles

(CNN) -- Gunmen attacked a Saudi Embassy convoy in Paris on Sunday, stealing 250,000 euros ($334,000) and diplomatic documents, French police say.

According to a police union spokesman, a Saudi prince was traveling with the motorcade, but the gunmen appeared to be most interested in the contents of one of the vehicles, forcing it to a stop by brandishing automatic weapons, but without firing a shot.

The spokesman described the stolen documents as "sensitive."

The gunmen's car was later found burned out and with the license plates removed. There was no sign of the gunmen, and police are investigating.

Le Parisien said that the attack took place near Porte de la Chapelle in the city's 18th administrative district and that the gunmen were armed with Kalashnikov rifles.

The website said Monday that the convoy of 12 vehicles was traveling from a hotel on the Champs-Elysees in central Paris to the Paris-Le Bourget Airport -- northeast of the city -- when two cars stopped it, seizing a minivan containing three people.

Le Monde said five to eight robbers were involved. The newspaper quoted an investigator as saying the crime would be more complex if the diplomatic documents had been its target.

Frederic Lagache, from the Alliance police union, described the offenders as "a heavily armed and determined group of individuals," French news agency AFP reported.

Saudi Arabia denied the car was an embassy vehicle.

Its embassy said the car was a rental and the driver was a Saudi citizen who was headed to the airport.

"On the way, the driver was forced to get out the car. The luggage and car were stolen," it said.

CNN's Marion Lory contributed to this report from Paris, and Susannah Cullinane reported from London.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:49 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
British PM David Cameron has had the narrowest of political escapes.
updated 9:06 PM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
British journalist John Cantlie hadn't been seen in nearly two years. Now, he's the latest hostage to be paraded out by ISIS.
The burial leader. The hospital gatekeeper. The disease detective. All telling powerful, stories from West Africa.
updated 7:03 PM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Alibaba's IPO is unlike anything investors have ever seen and could threaten other online retailers. Maggie Lake reports.
updated 11:58 PM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Indian PM Narendra Modi has said al Qaeda will fail if it seeks to spread its terror network into his country.
updated 8:01 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Put yourself in the shoes (and sixth-century black robes) of ISIS' Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the mysterious boss of the terror group.
updated 3:39 PM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
 Tennis Player Li Na attends the WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party as guests enjoy Ciroc Vodka presented by Dubai Duty Free at Kensington Roof Gardens on June 19, 2014 in London,
Asia's first grand slam singles champion Li Na has called time on her 15-year tennis career.
Jenson Button has some of quickest reactions ever shown at an advanced sports lab.
updated 7:24 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Creative companies with quirky ideas find new lending models advantageous.
updated 10:09 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Even death couldn't part two skeletons excavated from a lost chapel in an English county, found with their fingers entwined.
updated 6:07 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT