MONTEVIDEO – Police arrested a Uruguayan man and a Mexican woman in the southwestern city of Colonia in connection with the robbery of the jewelry store inside the Conrad Hotel in the beach resort of Punta del Este, the Interior Ministry said on Monday.
Fifteen other suspects, all of them Mexican citizens, were arrested earlier in connection with last week’s heist and placed under 120-day preventive arrest.
The couple was about to “board a boat to travel from Colonia to Buenos Aires” when they were detained, the Interior Ministry said in a Twitter post.
The 51-year-old man and the 45-year-old woman “could be connected with the jewelry store robbery in Punta del Este,” officials said.
Four of the Mexican suspects are also wanted in Costa Rica for allegedly committing a similar crime.
Last Friday, police recovered all the loot, including nearly 300 pieces of jewelry and watches worth around $3 million.
During a court hearing last Thursday in Maldonado, capital of the province where Punta del Este is located, prosecutors alleged that some of the suspects were to be paid $25,000 for their roles in the heist.
Defense attorneys filed motions for the protection of their clients, who some reports said have relatives kidnapped in Mexico.
Media reports said the suspects spent almost $100,000 planning the jewelry heist.