The online news portal of TV5
(UPDATED - 12:21 a.m., May 22, 2012) MANILA. Philippines - Pieces of jewelry worth millions of euros were stolen by thieves from the apartment unit of Philippine ambassador to Portugal Philippe Jones Lhuillier, the French newspaper, The Parisian, reported.
The May 19 report, which appeared on The Parisian's website said the robbers had entered the upscale apartment building located at Paris' 16th District from the roof and forced open the window to ge into Lhuillier's unit.
The Parisian first reported that the pieces of jewelry were worth 30 million euros, but later revised its report, saying that the stolen jewels were worth only 3 million euros or roughy P165 million.
An initial investigation from police said that after entering Lhuillier's unit , the burglars forced open the safe and took dozens of jewelry and gemstones.
The burglars also took vases, clocks. and other valuables. It said Lhuillier's unit was "richly decorated with paintings and masterpieces and precious ornaments."
"This is a passionate diplomat and leading expert on gemology, continues the same source," the report said.
The 66-year-old ambassador was in the United States at the time of the robbery.
Lhuillier was appointed by the Philippine government as ambassador to Italy in 1999. He is a member of the Lhuillier clan, who owns the PJ Lhuillier Group of Companies (PJLGC).
The PJLGC owns and operates Cebuana Lhuillier Pawnshop, one of the top pawnshops in the Philippines.
PJLGC is also engaged in other financial services such as banking, remittance, insurance, loading, bills payment, health and hotel management and information technology.
Police investigators have recovered items left behind by the robbers from the crime scene, the Parisian report stated.
"The perpetrators of this burglary have perhaps acted simply by chance, not knowing they would fall on all jewelry. Burglaries are down yet in Paris and the suburbs since the beginning of the year. But we are never immune to this type of business with enormous damage," the report said.
(1.0 euro = 55.14 Philippine pesos)