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French police seek six after Swiss hostage-taking

media The French Alps Jean-Pierre Clatot/AFP

French police have launched a manhunt for the perpetrators of a hostage-taking and gold robbery in Switzerland that took place early on Friday morning.

A "large contingent" of police was searching for six people in France on Friday, a Swiss police statement said.

In the early hours of the morning the six took the owner of a precious-metals company, his wife and a child of around 10 hostage at their home in Chaux-les-Fonds.

They forced the man to go to his office to collect a "large quantity of gold" and hand it over.

The hostage-takers then took the family to an area not far from France, leaving them there before fleeing across the border.

"The family were recovered safe and sound," the Swiss police statement said.

They had not been physically harmed, according to local police spokesman Pierre-Louis Rochaix.

Last May French police caught a gang counting their booty in a mountain hideout after a hold-up of an armoured van carrying 40 million euros-worth of cash and gems on a Swiss motorway.

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