Former British Soldier On Trial for Kidnap of Cannes Hotel Owner

Former British Soldier On Trial for Kidnap of Cannes Hotel Owner

Jacqueline Verac was abducted from her French Riviera home in October 2016 - Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

A FORMER British soldier is among a motley gang of 13 people on trial for the 2016 kidnapping of millionaire Cannes hotel owner Jacqueline Veyrac.

Philip Dutton, a 52-year old former soldier from Liverpool, is on trial in France alongside a motley gang accused of violently abducting Jacqueline Veyrac from her Nice home in October 2016.

The 80-year old millionaire, who testified at the trial on Thursday (January 7th), was thrown into a van and threatened that she would be killed if she did not comply with her abductors. She was discovered bound and gagged in the vehicle two days later, having been forced to drink a sedative.

Giuseppe Serena, the former manager of Veyrac’s famous Grand Hotel in Cannes, is accused of ordering the kidnap. He was fired from his job as general manager in 2009 and allegedly wanted to use the ransom money to start a restaurant.

An Italian national who allegedly attempted to abduct Veyrac in 2013 is the suspected mastermind of the plot. Among the other accused are Luc Goursaleas, a paparazzi turned private detective, and three suspected gang members from a deprived area of Nice.

Dutton, the former British soldier, admitted that he demanded a 5 million euro ransom from Veyrac and was set to keep 10%, with half of the sum going to Serena and the rest to the other accomplices.

The Grand Hotel in Cannes, one of the opulent seaside establishments frequented by the rich and famous during the city’s annual film festival, was established by Veyrac’s late husband.

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Oisin Sweeney

Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...