A well-known Australian jeweler has been arrested by police on suspicion of staging a robbery at his own shop in Sydney. He allegedly planned the theft so he could demand millions in insurance money.
New South Wales State Police said Michel Elias Germani is seeking compensation of around A$2.8million. Or about 1.7 million euros.
The 65-year-old jeweler said he and an employee were robbed in January by two men posing as customers. Once inside the store, they pulled out a knife and demanded access to the safe, Germani claimed.
Police arrested the thieves last month. But in the weeks that followed, she began to doubt Germani’s story more and more, writes The Guardian. It is unclear why his statement has been questioned.
Germani made jewelry for the royal family
According to the police, the other employee had nothing to do with Germani’s plans. She would not have been aware of the plans to scam the insurance companies and is traumatized by the robbery. “She was threatened with a knife and tied up with her hands and feet. She thought she was really being robbed.”
Germani is being held on suspicion of theft with aggravating circumstances, such as deprivation of liberty. He is also suspected of involvement in a criminal organization and fraud.
His case became known in 1988 when he began sponsoring well-known Australian game shows. Germani has also made jewelry for the Saudi Royal Family and Queen Noor of Jordan.
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