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Two French Bandits Convicted in Japan’s Biggest Robbery

December 11, 1992

PARIS (AP) _ Two French bandits were sentenced to six years in prison Friday for their roles in Japan’s biggest heist in Japan, the 1986 daylight robbery of $2.6 million from an armored car.

The money has never been recovered.

Philippe Jamin, 36, and Nordine Tifra, 31, will walk free because the court ruled that the time already served could stand for Friday’s sentences. A third defendant, Rene Pastore, 38, was acquitted.

Jamin and Tifra, from slums north of Paris, were convicted in suburban Bobigny of receiving stolen goods. They had been jailed since 1988, either awaiting trial or serving time for other offenses.

Hooded men robbed a Mitsubishi Bank armored car in Tokyo on Nov. 25, 1986. Their haul was the largest in an armed robbery in Japan.

The gang used a toy pistol and tear-gas grenades.

Jamin was arrested in Mexico and Tifra was picked up in France in 1988. Pastore, suffering from AIDS, was taken into custody in 1991.

Another suspect, Richard Leroy, was killed in a gangland slaying in 1987. A fifth man, Algerian Youssef Khimoun, remained at large.

The French ring is believed to have been put on to the heist by a convicted Japanese drug smuggler they met while serving time in a Paris jail in the early 1980s.

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