Morocco: Cleaner jailed for stealing king′s watches | News | DW | 25.01.2020
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Morocco: Cleaner jailed for stealing king's watches

A middle-aged woman was imprisoned for stealing 36 luxury watches from King Mohammed VI. The king has courted controversy for his lavish style, including donning diamond-encrusted watches valued at more than $1 million.

A court in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, on Saturday sentenced a 46-year-old woman to 15 years in prison for stealing luxury watches owned by King Mohammed VI.

The woman, who worked as a cleaner on palace grounds, was convicted of stealing 36 luxury watches and forming "a criminal gang" to cash in on the stolen items.

According to one of the defendant's lawyers, the cheapest watch was valued at €18,000 ($20,000).

Read more: No new lead on Dresden museum jewelry heist, say German prosecutors

 King Mohammed VI of Morocco during a meeting with Russia's minister of foreign affairs (not in picture) at the Royal Palace

King Mohammed VI is considered one of the richest people in the world

Dismantled pieces

Fourteen other defendants were handed prison sentences ranging from four to 12 years. Besides the cleaner, all of the defendants were men, many of whom worked as jewelers.

Most of the watches were not sold on as full pieces. Instead, they were broken down and stripped of any elements of value, including gold and diamonds.

Read more: Watches and shoes among most counterfeited products in EU

Lavish life

King Mohammed VI has courted controversy for his lavish lifestyle. In a 2018 Instagram post, the king was seen wearing a diamond-encrusted Patek Philippe timepiece worth more than €1 million.

In 2014, Forbes business magazine dubbed King Mohammed VI one of the wealthiest people in the world with a value of $2.5 billion.

Read more: Women say Morocco's invasive 'virginity tests' are assault

Watch video 01:47

Is time running out for traditional timepieces?

ls/rc (AFP, EFE)

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