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A group of billionaires and young women who flew into France on a private jet, defying coronavirus lockdown, were turned back after a standoff on the tarmac, according to authorities.
The aircraft, from London, carried seven men, all in their 40s and 50s, and three women, in their mid-20s. A Croatian national – one of the men on board – organized the trip.
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Police were waiting at France’s Marseille-Provence airport to turn the jet back before any passengers could disembark. Police had asked the plane not to land, but it defied their orders and landed anyway.
Three helicopters were waiting for the passengers to take them to a villa in Cannes, but police sent them away without any passengers.
A policeman told the Daily Mail that, when confronted, the Croatian national said, “I have money, let’s talk.”
He tried to reason with the police, telling them he had been “looking forward to the break, with his friends and young female escorts.”
“He said they all go to the villa, and lockdown there, and that there would be no problem,” the policeman said. “But it was obviously a recreational trip, and under the containment measures these are strictly prohibited.”
A stand-off continued on the tarmac for three hours before police were able to send most of the party back to London. One member of the party flew on to Berlin.
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“They maybe thought they’d get a fine but would be able to get to their destination,” a police official told Bloomberg.com. “But things didn’t turn out that way.”
While most people have struggled with the lockdowns – trying to work from home while homeschooling the kids – the rich and famous have had a different experience, with some finding rather interesting ways to entertain themselves.
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The King of Thailand self-quarantined while vacationing in Germany. He booked an entire hotel in an Alpine resort town, bringing along an entourage of 20 concubines and some servants.
Similarly, Manchester City soccer star Kyle Walker was caught having a “lockdown party.” The party consisted of himself and two sex workers.
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He later apologized for the incident.