Sanctions have not stopped Russian tourists to be the high spenders they are known to be. It also did not stop Russians to travel the world. Even with visa restrictions in Europe or North America, many received their visa before the sanctions.
Barcelona is known to be the pickpocket capital and master of tourism scams, and this Russian family got to feel this last week when their bag and a suitcase containing jewels and watches worth over 8 million euros were stolen from them at Barcelona International Airport.
The heist was described as “historic” by local newspaper La Vanguardia.
On Wednesday, a Russian family had their suitcase taken from them while they waited in the airport’s boarding line. The robbers were identified thanks to surveillance cameras and caught a short time later.
A white Louis Vuitton suitcase and a rare Hermés bag decorated with gold and diamonds were reported missing. The Russians estimate that there was $10,000 cash in the suitcase. Under Spanish law, it would be illegal to carry more than $10,000.00 – so this number may have been conservative.
Also stolen from the bag was a diamond Chanel brooch, retailing for close to 750,000 euros. A swan-shaped brooch is estimated to be worth 600,000.
The Russians estimated that the 47-carat diamond ring was worth $4 million, and a second one €500,000.
Bulgari and Chopard timepieces, each at €800,000 ($45,000). A diamond bracelet by Tiffany is estimated to be worth 250,000 Euros.
A diamond Versace necklace, retailing for 100,000 Euros. Earrings made entirely of diamonds are valued at over a million dollars.
Distressed by the loss of so many priceless possessions, victims have voiced concerns about airport security as a result of the heist.
The incident is currently being investigated by authorities with an eye toward preventing such incidents in the future.
No one apparently investigated the Russian tourists why they traveled with 8 million Euro worth of jewelry in the suitcase.