French restaurateur killed in Mexico City 'to steal his wine'

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Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Friends set up a small altar outside one of Mr Lormand's restaurants in Mexico City

Police in Mexico City have arrested three suspects over the murder of a French restaurateur and his Mexican business partner last week.

The bodies of Baptiste Lormand, 45, who owned a number of restaurants, and Luis Orozco were found south of the capital on Saturday.

Mexico City's police chief said the two men were killed in order to steal five bottles of expensive wine from them.

The wine was reportedly worth almost $50,000 (£37,250).

Mr Lormand, who had dual Mexican and French nationality, owned several restaurants in the upscale Polanco neighbourhood of Mexico City.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Baptiste Lormand owned several restaurants in the upscale Polanco neighbourhood

He also sold expensive wines and spirits with Mr Orozco and the two are believed to have driven south of the capital on Thursday to sell some merchandise.

Friends of Mr Lormand at first thought the restaurateur may have been a victim of extortion and may have been killed for refusing to pay protection money.

Others speculated that he could have been kidnapped for ransom.

But Mexico City Police Chief Omar García Harfuch said that everything pointed "towards the perpetrators wanting to steal his merchandise".

Mexico City's Attorney-General Ernestina Godoy said that during the arrest of the three suspects, "a significant number of bottles of high-end alcohol and weapons were seized".

The killing of Mr Lormand caused outrage among the French community in Mexico City, which organised a protest march on Monday to demand justice.

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