The Pink Panthers are the world’s most successful diamond thieves. The Serbian and Montenegrin gang has stolen over $330,000,000 dollars worth of jewels from boutiques in the world’s most opulent cities: Geneva, Paris, London, Dubai and Tokyo. With incredible unprecedented access, gang members Mike and Lela tell their story using a unique and cutting edge animation style (for obvious reasons they wouldn’t show their faces). In addition we see an interview with Lucky, a courier, and Mr Green the fence, or final link in the illicit diamond trade.
Mike and Lela recount growing up in Yugoslavia, the breakdown of the country and the rise of the criminal state under Milosovic. As sanctions are imposed by the West in 1992, an explosion of mafia networks takes place, of which the Panthers are just one. As refugees flood into Europe so do the crooks – the affects of which are still felt today.
Intercut with their stories are Inspector Yaan Glassey of the Geneva Anti-Criminal Brigade and Captain Hervé Conan of the Paris police. They describe their ambitions and achievements in the global mission to track the gang down and take them to court.
Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers is releasing in cinemas on 16 October, digitally on 7 October and DVD on 21 October.