France

French builders in court over massive gold theft

Gold bars.
Gold bars. AFP

Three French builders are to appear in court after stealing gold worth 900,000 euros from a property they were working on in Normandy, according to a local newspaper.

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The regional daily Paris Normandie said on Monday that the workers were levelling the ground around a house to build an extension when they found 16 gold bars and some six hundred 20-dollar gold coins stored in glass jars.

According to the paper, the property’s owner quipped to the workers before they started, “If you find any treasure, let me know.”

But when their shovels hit gold, possibly buried there during World War Two, the workers decided to steal it rather than tell the owner.

The three accused, aged 20, 33, and 40, then allegedly sold the trove to a local coin collector.

Tax officials were reportedly alerted to the case after one of the workers deposited a 270,000 euro cheque into his bank account.

When investigators quickly inquired, the men reportedly confessed their crime, according to the paper.

The three workers will appear in court soon in Evreux, north-west of Paris.

The coin collector has also been charged of handling stolen goods, but has denied any wrong-doing.
 

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