A well-known Australian jeweller was arrested on Monday because the police suspect him of staging a robbery at his store. He did that to commit insurance fraud.
Michel Elias Germani, 65, from Sydney, was arrested Monday for attempting to commit more than $2.8 million in insurance fraud. According to the jeweller’s website, Germani operates a well-known jewellery store in the Australian city and has already made designs for the royal family in Saudi Arabia, Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Diana, among others. According to the police, Germani would have staged an armed robbery of his store earlier this year to collect the huge sum of the Insurance.
Police say the jeweller initially told them he and a staff member had been threatened by two men posing as customers. One of the robbers would have had a knife in his pocket, while the other wanted to open the safe. Instead, they allegedly tied the hands and feet of Germani and his co-worker and left the store with large amounts of jewellery.
The two robbers were arrested last month. They were a 37-year-old and a 57-year-old man. But recently, the police concluded that something was wrong with the story. On Tuesday, the agents told the press they assumed it was a set-up. “I can state that there is sufficient evidence that the store owner is involved in directing the two men to commit the robbery of his store,” Joe Doueihi of the police department told ABCNews however, whether the three men had a direct relationship before the robbery is unclear.
The employee in the store on the day in question in January would not have been aware that it was set up and would have been “traumatized” by the facts. “She was just an innocent go-between and the victim of what she thought was a robbery.”
More arrests are expected in this case. However, it remains to be seen for the time being until Germani has to appear in court within a few days.