Kim Kardashian West’s driver on the night she was held at gunpoint and robbed in Paris was among the 17 suspects arrested Monday, French officials said, suggesting that the October armed robbery was an inside job.
Gary Madar, 27, and his brother, Michael Madar, 40, both worked for the same private livery company, according to officials who spoke to the Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity.
Gary Madar was Kardashian’s driver the night of the robbery and would have known where she went and when, police told E! News. Five of the suspects are known burglars, police said.
The suspects, who range in age from 23 to 72 and include three women, were arrested in multiple raids Monday morning in and around Paris, police told AP. Guns and nearly $150,000 in cash were found.
“On the one hand, it will perhaps mean the jewels will be recovered,” Kardashian’s attorney in France told a French magazine Monday (translation via CNN), “and on the other hand it puts an end to disgraceful speculation by some people, who thought it clever to pretend this robbery was a set-up or a publicity stunt by Madame Kardashian.”
"They're going to shoot me in the back," a tearful Kardashian tells her sisters, recalling her thoughts during the robbery, in a “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” promo spot that came out Friday. "There's no way out. It makes me so upset to think about it."
DNA evidence from Kardashian’s hotel room — where she was bound and gagged and threatened with death as robbers stole millions of dollars worth of jewelry — reportedly led police to the suspects. Some of the 17 who were arrested had criminal records, an official told the AP. A spokeswoman for the Paris police did not say whether the five people seen on surveillance footage were among those arrested, the New York Times said.
Kardashian, who has been out of the public eye since the robbery, was photographed Monday night with husband Kanye West when they went out for sushi in Bel-Air. The reality TV star also disappeared from social media after the traumatic experience but returned last week with photos and videos of herself, West and their children, North and Saint.