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Thieves use teargas to rob Chinese tourists near Paris

PARIS-NEW

PARIS, FRANCE: Around six assailants sprayed teargas on Chinese tourists outside a hotel near Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport on Tuesday and made off with their luggage, police and rescue services said.

Two tourists and an interpreter were slightly injured and taken to hospital, rescue workers said.

The attack occurred around 8:00 am (0600 GMT) as the tourists were loading their luggage onto a tour bus, police told AFP.

“Several bags and personal effects were taken,” a police official said, adding that the thieves fled the scene and “several passengers were in shock”.

Rescue workers said there were 27 Chinese tourists on a tour run by an Italian company and that the coach driver was Italian.

China has the world’s second-largest economy, and its burgeoning and increasingly solvent middle class is travelling abroad in numbers greater than ever before.

But in many countries, particularly France, their reputation for carrying large amounts of cash has made them a target of thieves.

French authorities tightened security around Chinese tourist groups in 2013 after Beijing expressed concern about the increasing number of incidents.

In September last year, a Chinese tourist guide was robbed of 25,000 euros ($28,300) in cash and his new Rolex watch after he had prevented two of his group from being robbed themselves outside a hotel in a Paris suburb.

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