Armed with tear gas, a group of robbers attacked and stole luxury items from 40 Chinese tourists in a Paris hotel car park on Thursday evening, based on reports from the Chinese embassy in France.
Citing local newspaper Le Parisien, South China Morning Post reports that the victimized tourist group were hanging around the Kyriad Hotel car park situated in Val-de-Marne after returning from a shopping trip when the attack happened.
At around 8.20pm, four assailants went into the area and started spraying tear gas at the tourists. The suspects took off with nine shopping bags filled with newly purchased luxury goods.
While reports did not include the total value of the stolen items and the status of the victims if anyone was injured, at least two of the tourists complained of feeling sick.
“I heard screams, and when I looked out the window, I saw two people assaulting a Chinese guide, and I saw others using tear gas against the tourists,” an employee of the hotel was quoted as saying.
“For an hour, it was absolute panic … Many of them [tourists] asked me to hide their bags.”
The tour group reportedly flew back to China the following day.
According to the Chinese embassy, it had already coordinated with the local authorities, urging the French police to immediately have the suspects arrested, Xinhua reports.
In its statement, the agency accordingly issued a warning to all Chinese tourists who are planning to visit France.
“The greater Paris region has reported a series of violent muggings and attacks against Chinese tourists and Chinese-French,” it said.
The incident is still under investigation, the local police have confirmed.
A similar attack on Chinese tourists happened in August last year in Aubervilliers, Paris, where six men, also armed with tear gas victimized 27 tourists as they were boarding their airport bus.