KUALA LUMPUR - The two men who swiped two rings worth RM1.4mil (SGD550,000) within one-hour from two jewellery stores here are internationally wanted jewel thieves.
European jewellery and watch business crime prevention network International Jeweller Security manager Martin Winckel said the men, believed to be Taiwanese, had also stolen jewellery worth RM697,601 in two heists at high-end jewellery stores in London and Antwerp last year.
They also attempted five other thefts, using the same modus operandi in London and Hamburg between September 2013 and July 2014.
Posters of the two wanted men had been circulated to European jewellers and insurance agents since July. Asian businesses were not alerted.
"The leader of the two is known as Meng, aged 46. He usually works with different male accomplices. He has been involved in 14 other cases in central Europe since 2012. The most expensive jewellery he has stolen was worth US$1.5mil (RM4.73mil) in Bahrain on Nov 22, 2013," Winckel told The Star.
He said the other suspect had yet to be identified.
Meng's heists amounted to an estimated RM6.34mil in losses.
"They are hired professionals who steal for a syndicate that sells the jewellery for much lower prices in China and Russia. The syndicate would cut or alter 5 per cent to 10 per cent of the gems so that its registration or marks cannot be detected," he said.
Dang Wangi police said they were aware of the duo's international notoriety but said that this was reportedly the first time they had struck in Malaysia.