London: An Indian-origin millionaire has spoken about how his family was gassed before burglars stole nearly 40,000 pounds cash and jewellery from their Spanish villa.
Kiren Sharma shared his experience after reports of Formula One champion Jenson Button being a victim of a similar raid last week.
“They were professionals and obviously knew what they were doing. The police told us we had been gassed and the security staff we later hired said it was a big problem in the area,” the 63-year-old businessman told ‘Evening Standard’ newspaper.
UK-based Sharma, who runs a recruitment firm, was renting a luxury villa at Puerto Banus on the Costa del Sol in Spain with his family during the incident.
He, his wife Cathy, their two grown-up daughters and Sharma’s elderly mother went to bed but heard noises in the early hours.
“They smashed down a huge thick wooden front door with a pickaxe. I could hear them moving around. They even came into our bedroom and lifted up my wife’s head to take her diamond earrings. The next morning we all felt very groggy and had sore throats and burning eyes,” Sharma said.
“We saw they had had a party in our living room drinking our drinks – they obviously knew we would not be able to do anything and knew how long the effects would last. The whole experience was terrifying,” he recalled.
He believes the gas in the attack may have been nitrous oxide, which is used by dentists as an anaesthetic.
Button, 35, also believes he and his wife were gassed via air conditioning units in last week’s burglary in the French resort town of St Tropez.
“Apparently it is a very common thing. It’s not something people are making up,” Sharma said.