Pink Panther caught in the act at London exhibition

UK - Two professional hustlers, who committed a string of lucrative raids on London’s super-rich, are facing jail this week after one of the pair was caught trying to steal from the International Jewellery London (IJL) exhibition.

Yuri Harris, 49, and Maher Ghalaini, 50, targeted billionaire victims for bag theft throughout the capital. The pair also set up a fake jewellery business to gain access to IJL for the purpose of targeting wealthy show visitors.

However, at IJL on 7 September 2009, a policeman recognised Harris from a previous encounter and alerted the IJL undercover surveillance team. The team shadowed the pair and arrested them as they tried to flee with bags stolen from visiting women.

“This is a satisfying result for all concerned and we are glad we have been able to support the police in their efforts to catch these professional criminals,” says acting event manager for IJL, Sam Willoughby.

Documentation found on Ghalaini indicated the thieves were planning to attend another jewellery trade fair in Italy later that month.

“Crime in the jewellery sector is an industry-wide issue,” adds Willoughby. “It is being tackled on many fronts, and IJL is pleased to support numerous security initiatives both at the show itself and across the industry as a whole.”