Peruvians indicted after theft of crown jewels
February 20, 2013
Two men and a woman from Peru have been indicted in Norway on charges they stole several kilos of gold jewelry belonging to King Otumfuo Osei Tutu II from Ghana, while he was on a visit to Oslo last fall.
The king of the Ashanti Empire, in what later became the west African country of Ghana, had inherited the jewels and had them with him on the Oslo visit because he was making an appearance at a conference organized by the Norwegian-African Business Association. The suitcase containing the jewels disappeared while the traditional leader of the Ashanti people was checking in at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel in downtown Oslo.
Police identified three suspects from surveillance cameras at the hotel and one was arrested in Sweden a week later. Now all three have been indicted, with newspaper Aftenposten reporting that the two men are in custody in Oslo and the woman is under arrest in Peru. Police believe the woman diverted the attention of the hotel employee guarding the luggage, while one of the men grabbed the suitcase with the jewels and then they both sped off in a waiting car.
Only a small portion of the jewelry has been recovered since the theft in October. The remainder is believed to have been sold in Sweden. The suspects face up to six years in prison. Their trial is expected to begin in March.