Seventeen people have been arrested by police hunting an armed gang who robbed Kim Kardashian West in Paris in October, reports say.
The suspects, said to be mainly in their fifties and known to police, were detained in co-ordinated raids in the Paris region and elsewhere.
The American reality TV star was held at gunpoint by men dressed as police officers. They escaped with an estimated €10m (£8.7m; $10.5m) in jewellery.
Police said at the time a €4m ring and a jewellery box with pieces worth some €6m were taken. A diamond cross pendant was found the next day in a nearby street, apparently dropped by the gang as they made their getaway by bicycle and on foot.
Five men took part in the attack. Three held up the night porter while the other two entered Kardashian West’s luxury apartment, tied her up and locked her in the bathroom. French police said that traces of DNA had led to the arrests which had been left at the scene on the material used to tie up the TV star as well as the pendant dropped by the gang.
The police organised crime brigade (BRB) carried out dawn raids on Monday in the Paris area, in Rouen in the north and in Nice in the south. Those detained ranged in age from 23 to 73, French media said, and investigators now have 96 hours to question them.
“One of the DNA samples matched an individual known to police for robbery and criminal offences,” police said.
Following the discovery, a team of six BRB detectives tapped the phones of suspects and even tracked a meeting involving a member of the gang and potential buyers of Kardashian West’s jewels.
Kardashian West, who is married to the rapper Kanye West, said she feared she was going to be killed at the time. She was left badly shaken but unhurt. “They’re going to shoot me in the back,” she is heard telling her sisters in a promotional clip for the new season of the US show Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
The 36-year-old mother-of-two, who became a household name thanks to the reality TV series, was attending Paris Fashion Week at the time of the robbery, along with her mother Kris Jenner and her sister Kendall Jenner.
However, there was criticism of the security detail surrounding the star, when it emerged that a bodyguard decided to accompany Kardashian West’s sister to a nightclub rather than keep watch on her.
Kanye West was performing at the Meadows Music and Arts Festival in New York when the robbery happened on 3 October. He abruptly ended his set, telling fans: “I’m sorry, family emergency. I have to stop the show.” The robbery came as a high-profile embarrassment for a Paris police force that has seen a string of armed thefts in recent years.