Adam Wible: Just finished reading a New Yorker article about The Pink Panthers. The Pink Panthers are reputedly a Balkan criminal organization operating in Western Europe, primarily undertaking smash and grab style robberies of high end, but less well guarded jewellery stores around the world. The New Yorker story discusses crimes in London, Dubai, Tokyo, and Paris. More interesting, however, is how David Samuels peels the onion to understand the motivation behind the young men who join the group, who more often than not come from Nis or Cetinje, Serbia. Lack of legitimate opportunity is foremost among the causes, followed by boredom and impatience, and the misleadingly glamorous reputation of being an international diamond thief. Most of the members are caught, killed, succumb to drug addiction, or are sacrificed to cull the ranks or, for some, to placate Interpol (who gave them the Pink Panther moniker) and the EU in the hope moving Serbia and Montenegro closer to EU membership. Samuels comes a quasi-sympathetic conclusion which is hard to disagree considering the circumstances in the former Yugoslavia and the fact that, at least in the short term, faceless insurance companies and the super wealthy have born the brunt of it.
The story is available from the New Yorker (abstract only for free):
Of course, there is always the well-worded rebuttal to Samuels' deterministic / nurture summary judgement of the panthers:
The New Yorker recently posted a follow up on the Pink Panthers - yet another has been caught, but this time a 39-year old. Potentially the "brains of the operation"
Wikipedia - there is a Wikipedia Article concerning the panthers, though while drawn from a number of different sources, does not add a whole lot to the New Yorker portrayal:
I'm just looking forward to seeing Leonardo DiCaprio in this role:
Just wish Gorila, by Dusan Savkovic, were in print (or better yet, available on Kindle) in the meantime.
- Adam Wible