Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Stolen Art Watch, Harry Winston Diamonds Down The Drain As Art Hostage Returns !!

Paris police find $25M in stolen jewels in sewer

French investigators from the elite BRB have found jewels valued at euro18 million ($25 million) hidden in a Paris rain sewer — part of the spectacular 2008 heist from luxury jeweler Harry Winston's Paris boutique.

Nineteen rings and three sets of earrings — one pair valued at euro14 million ($19.5 million)

— were dug up from a drain at a house in the working class Paris suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis, police said, confirming a report on Europe-1 radio.

The jewels were hidden in a plastic container set in a cement mold inside the sewer, police said. The house belonged to one of the nine people charged in the heist.

The bold Harry Winston robbery on Dec. 5, 2008, netted the thieves — some dressed as women and wearing wigs — gems and bejeweled watches worth up to euro85 million ($118.1 million), police said. More recently, police have set the figure at $85 million.

The Harry Winston boutique is on a street off Paris' famed Champs-Elysees Avenue dotted with fashion houses and fashionable cafes. The robbery, carried out while Christmas shoppers strolled outside, was among the most audacious in France in recent memory.

Some stolen rings, necklaces and watches were recovered when police rounded up 25 people in a June 2009 sweep and eventually charged nine of them.

Among those charged was the heist's suspected mastermind, Daoudi Yahiaoui, who had been sentenced to 15 years in prison in a drug trafficking case two months before the Harry Winston raid in December 2008, see story below:

Drug trafficker sentenced to 15 years

A drug kingpin charged with trafficking 1.65 tons of heroin from Turkey has been sentenced to 15 years in a Swiss prison.

Thursday October 30th 2008 Federal judge Jean-Luc Bacher handed down the highest penalty for drug trafficking in the history of the Federal Court to the 42-year-old Kosovar.

Prosecutors had accused him of playing a key role within a crime family that has supplied Western Europe with heroin since the mid-1990s.

The verdict on Thursday October 30th 2008 wraped up the largest trail for drug trafficking to unfold in Switzerland.

The man, who was not named in Swiss media, had posed as a car salesman. His 28-year-old brother, who worked as a car washer, faced a four-year prison term for money laundering. He received a two-year suspended sentence.

Police in Switzerland, Kosovo, Italy, Austria, Germany, France, Slovenia and Hungary had seized the heroin shipments worth SFr25 million ($22 million).

French BRB Police found stolen jewelry and euro760,000 ($1.1 million) at the house of Daoudi Yahiaoui previously.

A guard at the Harry Winston boutique put police on the trail of the suspects. When investigators learned that an Israeli was expected in Paris to buy some of the stolen jewels, police moved in to make the arrests.

Doreen Carvajal, in the New York Times writes:

Don't know whether to laugh or cry at this story below:

Interesting to note the 500 Euro note is the preffered denomination of drug traffickers and criminals.

The Italian Job, below, as thieves steal £3million in gold:

In other news, notorious Brighton Antiques Knocker Alan Roser was sentenced yesterday, March 8th 2011, to Five years in jail for sexual offences against children.


Anonymous said...

Lets hope that Alan Roser gets what he deserves in hopefully the roughest jail they can put him in

Anonymous said...

Welcome back!

Anonymous said...

Nice Photo looks kind of cool