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July 27, 2017

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Kardashian robbery probe: Driver, 2 others freed; DNA found

Image

Lionel Cironneau / AP

In this June 24, 2015, file photo, American TV personality Kim Kardashian attends the Cannes Lions 2015, International Advertising Festival in Cannes, southern France.

PARIS — French investigators have released a chauffeur for Kim Kardashian West and two other people in their probe into the robbery of more than $10 million worth of jewelry from the star's Paris apartment in October.

The driver's brother and 13 others, including two women, remained in custody Wednesday night after a round of arrests this week, according to the Paris prosecutor's office.

Authorities are focusing on the possibility that the robbery was an inside job.

The Paris prosecutor's office said chauffeur Michael Madar, 40, was among three people released overnight, including a woman. Madar is believed to have driven Kardashian the night of the robbery.

Madar and his brother Gary Madar, 27, work for the same car service company and were among those arrested Monday.

The younger Madar and four other people still in custody are suspected of a direct role in the robbery, the office said. Investigators have also found the DNA of one suspect, Aomar Ait Khedache, a 60-year-old Algeria-born French citizen, at the scene, it added.

The suspects arrested Monday ranged in age from 23 to 72 and included several people known for prior robberies and other crimes, according to a police document seen by The Associated Press.

A French investigating judge may travel to the United States to speak with Kardashian West.

The jewels have not been recovered. In neighboring Belgium, the Antwerp prosecutor's office would not comment Wednesday on reports that the stolen goods might have been smuggled to Antwerp, a major jewel trading center.

Thieves are believed to have forced their way into the private apartment where Kardashian West was staying during Paris Fashion Week, tied her up and stole the jewelry.

Kardashian West has not commented publicly since Monday's arrests.

Philippe Sotto contributed to this report.

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