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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

When You Pay Peanuts, You Get Monkey's !!












Change the base and this Bronze and Ivory, left, becomes indistinguishable/untraceable from numerous other examples.
































Flame Leaper by Ferdinand Priess, change the base and it becomes untraceable.










































This Bronze and Ivory, left, is called "Almeria" by Dimitri Chiparus, trade value £150,000, retail £350,000, underworld value £100,000 because if the base is changed I defy anyone, including the owner to distinguish it from numerous other examples. There was another example sold recently by Nagel of Stuttgart for 220,000 euros £157,140, exact copy different base. This proves the £50,000 bogus reward is Peanuts and unless it is revised upward there will be no takers.


As soon as these Bronze and ivory figures are in the hands of a high value stolen art handler they will have their bases changed before being laid down to re-appear at a high value art fair, probably in Florida to be sold for top money. With their bases changed I defy anyone including the owner to pick out the stolen ones, unless there is damage or stress fractures to the Ivory parts, normally caused by central heating. Once Bronze and Ivory figures have damage to the Ivory they cannot be restored without it being detectable.

Furthermore, high value stolen art handlers are so sophisticated that they will purchase quite legitimately another example of each stolen figure then sell the stolen one as legit, before, in a few years selling the legit one they bought to cover their back.

Before anyone accuses me of giving the thieves/handlers advice, they have been doing this with stolen Bronze and Ivories for many years.








Dorset Police News
£1.5 Million statue raid in Bournemouth


29 May 2007

£1.5 MILLION STATUE RAID IN BOURNEMOUTH - PICTURES RELEASED AND REWARD OFFERED

Following a report of a £1.5 million burglary in Bournemouth in which valuable Art Deco statues were stolen, detectives are releasing pictures of the items and appealing for public help - with an insurance company offering a reward.

Sometime between 12.30pm and 11.20pm on Thursday 17 May 2007, intruders entered a first floor flat in Studland Road, Bournemouth and stole twelve valuable statues as well as cameras and electrical equipment valued in excess of £1.5m.

Detectives are releasing pictures of ten of the distinctive Art Deco statues and a reward of £50,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the offenders and recovery of the stolen property.

Detective Sergeant Craig Travers, of Bournemouth CID, said: “It looks like the thieves knew exactly what to take and there’s no doubt that they would have used a vehicle to remove this number of items.

“It’s my hope that by releasing pictures of some of the very distinctive statues - together with the offer of a substantial reward - anyone with information about the burglary, or about those involved, will come forward.

“I’d like to hear urgently from anyone who was in the Studland Road area after lunch or during the evening last Thursday, 17 May 2007, and who saw a man, or men, acting suspiciously - or who possibly had their attention drawn to a car or van.

“I’m also hoping that anyone else who recognises the statues from the pictures - and who may know of the whereabouts of these heavy and distinctive items - will do the right thing and come forward in absolute confidence.

“I can’t rule out the possibility that the stolen items may still be in the local area -perhaps being stored by someone who may not even know that they are looking after stolen property. If this is you, then please call the police straight away.

“It is also my hope that those dealing in art and antiques will take careful note of the details of the stolen statues and I’m appealing to any dealer who knows, or believes they know, the whereabouts of any of the items.

“I’m quite convinced that because of the nature of these items someone, somewhere - perhaps several people - knows, or suspects that they know, who is responsible for stealing them, and I appeal to those people to come forward.”



Bogus plumber steals money from home of vulnerable Portland man


29 May 2007

BOGUS PLUMBER STEALS MONEY FROM HOME OF VULNERABLE PORTLAND MAN

Police are appealing for witnesses and information from the public after a despicable thief deceived a vulnerable Portland man to enter his home and then steal a large amount of money.

Shortly before 2pm on Tuesday 22 May 2007 a man gained entry to a flat in the East Weare Road area of Portland by pretending to be a plumber sent to check radiators. He later left his vulnerable victim’s home with several hundreds of pounds in coins.

Police Constable Karen Daniels, of Weymouth police, said: “The despicable thief pretended he needed to check radiators in the home of this very vulnerable 50 year old man and when inside he took his opportunity to steal a large amount of money.

“I’m appealing to the public for information that might help me find this thief, and I’d like to remind residents with elderly or vulnerable neighbours to please keep a wary eye out for their neighbours, and immediately report any suspicious callers or activity.”

The man police are looking for is white, aged in his early 50's, Five feet seven or eight inches tall and of slim build with dark short hair brushed forwards, a pale complexion and clean-shaven. He was wearing dark trousers, a white T-shirt and black shoes.

PC Daniels continued: “It’s with the help of our local community that we can stop the activities of such heartless criminals, and I’d like to hear from anyone who recognises this man from the description and from anyone who saw him in the area yesterday.”


Art Hostage comments:


A trusted source, close to the Brighton Antiques Mafia tells Art Hostage:

"The truth is a Brighton Knocker Boy called------, nicknamed-------, called on this address some time ago and saw the Art Deco figurines, unable to buy anything he passed this information on to the Brighton Antiques Mafia A-Team of burglars.


These burglars -----and------were driven to Bournemouth by---- and burgled the flat and then made their way back to Brighton.


"Furthermore, there is now a Modus Vivendi between Irish Traveller Art thieves/Scousers and Brighton Antiques Knocker Boys, who are sharing intelligence about where the high value art is located."


"Bournemouth is just the latest place to be visited, focus is now on------where Brighton Knockers and Irish Travellers are getting together this coming week for new criminal acts."


"Why, only a few days before this theft of Art Deco Sculptures in Bournemouth two Irish Bogus officials, ------and his young buck---- tried in vain to rob an elderly person quite near the Art Deco Sculpture theft address, Brass street Bournemouth or something like that."


Sadly, these Irish bogus water officials had more luck with an elderly man as stated in the report above.



Despicable, yes, preventable, yes, when Police treat informants with respect and pay a decent reward, including a legally binding contract.

A freebie, check CCTV from local superstore, show victim, then use "Facial recognition Software" to identify the Irish Bogus Official.

If Dorset Police do not have "Facial Recognition Software" then contact the FBI who will, I am sure, for a fee, let Dorset Police use their state of the art computer facial recognition software.



Otherwise those with information will say:


Message from jail














"What part of Go Fuck Yourself Don't you understand"






Back to the Art Deco sculpture theft, Some of the Bronze and Ivories figures have been sold to -------whilst others remain for sale.


------has offered a price for the rest of the Bronze and Ivory figures but that offer has been turned down.


The current location of the unsold stolen Art Deco Bronze and Ivories is------they are being stored in-------s house, a relative of one of the burglars.




It will take allot more than £50,000 to fill in the blanks, and in any case rewards are forbidden, and not paid, despite all the media rhetoric."




So, there we have it folks, Art Hostage cannot obtain the missing names and locations without paying this underworld source, or at least obtaining a written contract that is binding and lawful and will make payment once the thieves are caught and the property recovered.





Memo to the bad guys:


Take this as "Having your card marked" about Cuckoo's in your nest willing to sell you out as soon as Law Enforcement gets it act together.

The top echelons of the Global Organised Crime Syndicates have always regarded dealing with the Brighton Antiques Mafia Trade/Brighton Criminal Underworld as
"You will either get Fucked, Nicked, or Both"
How true !!!

"Errr, basically, I don't understand it !!"

Der, Der, Der, Der, Der, Der, you would always win a game of Snap with this stuttering prick, who has tried to give information but took so long the Police Officer had to go off duty. Maybe next time????


Warning--warning---warning---warning-warning------------Warning-------------Warning






Memo to all Antiques dealers




Danger----Danger-----------Danger---------------Danger--------------Danger----






To any Antiques dealer foolish enough to think the reward will be paid.



If an Antiques Dealer is offered any of these Bronze and Ivories, then he phones Bournemouth Police,they in turn wait for the handler to come back to the dealer, then Police arrest the handler and recover say, Two of the Bronze and Ivories.





Before the Antiques dealer can even think about any reward he must be registered as an informant/Human Source with Dorset Police to comply with the 2002 Proceeds of Crime Act.





It is only then, in theory, will Police give a Comfort letter to the Insurers allowing them to pay a reward.


However, even if this is done, Insurers have a secret code of conduct that means they will prevaricate and delay payment in order to reduce the amount.



When the Antiques dealer, who was responsible for the recovery and arrest, becomes disillusioned and frustrated the Insurers will offer about £1,000 and send the Antiques dealer on his way.


Now this Antiques dealer is left feeling victimised, ostracised by fellow Antiques dealers and will never, ever help Police again.



Added to all of that, the Antiques dealer will be regarded as a Grass/Stool Pigeon/Rat and his Antiques dealing days will be numbered.


The moral of this story is any Antiques dealer that is approached to buy these Bronze and Ivories must think very, very carefully and consult a lawyer before he does anything, better still refuse to buy the Bournemouth Bronze and Ivories and keep quiet about the approach.


Otherwise any Antiques dealer trying to do the right thing will be hung out to dry.

Very sad, but true.
Still not convinced, then revisit:



http://www.dorsetpolice.net/
http://www.dorsetpolice.net/
http://www.dorsetpolice.net/



Memo to Detective Sergeant Craig Travers of Bournemouth C.I.D



Go back to arresting people for dropping a piece of Cucumber, or possession of an egg with intent to throw, that's what reaches the Govt targets and stop mis-leading the public.








Anyone with information about crime in the Dorset Police area visit http://www.dorsetpolice.net/

for a taste of the kind of treatment dealt out to honest law abiding citizens


http://www.dorsetpolice.net/
http://www.dorsetpolice.net/
http://www.dorsetpolice.net/


If Craig Travers would like to know of the reception awaiting him if he wants help from Sussex Police

A must read of this true story for a taste of the factional resentment between Police forces

http://arthostage.blogspot.com/2007/01/keystone-cops-plead-with-criminal-for.html
http://arthostage.blogspot.com/2007/01/keystone-cops-plead-with-criminal-for.html
http://arthostage.blogspot.com/2007/01/keystone-cops-plead-with-criminal-for.html
http://arthostage.blogspot.com/2007/01/keystone-cops-plead-with-criminal-for.html



Detective Craig Travers may indeed be a sincere, decent, honourable, hard-working cop, trouble is the system is stacked against Police and they have their hands tied because of the unworkable laws governing payment of rewards.





The Home office is looking again at how informants are treated and perhaps in the future there will be mechanisms in place that reward those who take great risk to provide the intelligence needed to combat these despicable crimes against the person and their property.





Until then the public and artworks alike will be held Hostage to fortune with no major recoveries or arrests, unless Police stumble onto a lead.





O'h what a vacuous world we live in.






When you pay Peanuts, you get Monkey's, and that is a Memo !!






Who is the Antiques Dealer with Michael Jackson????????????

Monday, May 28, 2007

Public's Help Sought to solve Violent Crime !!

£48m ex-wife offers £10,000 to catch gunman
By David Sapsted


The ex-wife whose £48 million divorce settlement was upheld by the Court of Appeal last week is now offering £10,000 to catch the robber who broke into her home.

But Beverley Charman will not have to dip into her record settlement to find the reward money her insurance company is stumping up the cash.

The reward has been offered after Mrs Charman, 54, was left traumatised after a balaclava-clad gunman broke in to her £3 million home in Sevenoaks, Kent, and tied her up at gunpoint before fleeing with £700,000-worth of goods.

Aside from taking one of her cars for the getaway during the robbery in March, the raider took £300,000 of jewellery and about £350,000 of furniture. Police believe that he must have had at least one accomplice working with him.

Mrs Charman was discovered 20 minutes after the robbery, still tied up, when one of her grown-up sons returned to the eight-bedroom, detached house.

Detectives believe that the robber, who forced Mrs Charman to open her safe at gunpoint, mounted the operation following the extensive media coverage of the initial divorce hearing in the High Court last year.

The TV and newspaper coverage included many pictures of the luxury house, the former marital home of Mrs Charman and her ex-husband John, 54, the Axa insurance chief who now lives in Bermuda.

Police are hoping that the reward for the capture of the robber will boost an inquiry that is currently stalled.

"We are renewing our appeal for information about a burglary that happened in Wildernesse Avenue, Sevenoaks, on Friday, March 9, following the announcement that a reward is being offered in connection with the incident.

"During the burglary, a man went into the home of Mrs Beverley Charman, threatened her with a firearm and stole a quantity of jewellery and other goods. Mrs Charman was unhurt but very shaken by what happened."

The gunman was described as white, aged 18 to 26 and wearing dark clothing. To enter the premises, he breached a 12 foot-high perimeter wall, avoided numerous CCTV cameras around the grounds and circumvented a sophisticated alarm system.

A spokesman for the insurers said: "Mrs Charman underwent a frightening ordeal which involved being threatened with a firearm in her own home. Aggravated burglary is a particularly nasty crime and it can leave a lasting effect on the victim.

"We are keen to assist the police in catching the person responsible for this crime. Knowing that this man has been apprehended would provide some comfort to Mrs Charman, and may prevent this happening to another innocent householder."

The Charmans split up in 2003 after 28 years of marriage.

Mr Charman, whose wife was described as "a housewife" in court papers although she also sits as a JP, has branded the £48 million divorce settlement as "grotesque and unfair" and hopes to appeal the award to the House of Lords.





Reward after £48m divorcee robbed

A £10,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the conviction of a gunman who robbed a Kent woman awarded a £48m divorce settlement.
Beverley Charman was tied up by a man wearing a balaclava at her £2.75m home in Sevenoaks, and robbed of her jewels.

Mrs Charman, 53, was shaken, but unhurt, after the robbery on 9 March.

Kent Police have renewed their appeal for information about the burglary following the announcement of the reward by insurers for Mrs Charman.

Jewellery worth several hundred thousand pounds was taken from her house, which is on a private road surrounded by high walls and electric gates.

Mrs Charman, who is the ex-wife of insurance magnate John Charman, was alone in the house when the man broke in and threatened her with what could have been an imitation gun or a BB gun.

The robber was described as white, aged 18 to 26 years old, and wearing dark clothing.

A spokesman for Mrs Charman's insurance company said the ordeal had been very frightening for her.

"Insurers are keen to assist the police in catching the person responsible for this crime.

"Knowing that this man has been apprehended would provide some comfort to Mrs Charman, and may prevent this happening to another innocent householder," he said.

Last year, Mrs Charman was awarded £48m in what was thought to be the biggest divorce settlement in Britain's legal history.

£48m divorce award is fair, say appeal judges
By Joshua Rozenberg and David Sapsted


A mother insisted yesterday that her record-breaking £48 million divorce settlement was a "fair reflection" of her contribution to the marriage.

Beverly Charman spoke out after the Court of Appeal upheld the award, the largest in British legal history, in the face of a challenge by her ex-husband, John Charman.

After the hearing in London, Mrs Charman acknowledged that the payment was "huge by any standards".

But she said in a statement: "The Court of Appeal has decided that it fairly reflects the contributions made by John and me during our 28-year marriage."

Mrs Charman, a magistrate who lives in the £3 million, former marital home in Sevenoaks, Kent, added: "I am relieved that the appeal is over and I hope that John and I can now concentrate on building our new lives."

But Mr Charman, a self-made millionaire who now lives in Bermuda, promised that he would take his fight to the House of Lords to stop his former wife getting such a "grotesque and unfair" slice of his £130 million-plus fortune. Mr Charman, the head of the Axis Capital Holdings, a Bermuda -based insurance group, believes that she could get by on £20 million.

"My offer to my former wife was an enormous sum, which is accepted to far exceed anything she might need," said Mr Charman, who had argued in the High Court last year that a £68 million family trust should not be included in his assets.

"She can live off the interest for the rest of her life without even touching the capital," he added.

"Why is it right that I should have to destabilise my business and career to provide her with a great deal more money?"

Mr and Mrs Charman met in 1970 when they were both teenagers in the sixth forms of their schools in Rochester, Kent. A year later Mr Charman started work as an unqualified junior clerk in an underwriting agency at Lloyd's of London. They married in 1976, when they had no assets.

By last year, their wealth amounted to £131 million, plus approximately £30 million held in a separate trust for their sons, aged 24 and 20.

Although Mr Charman was refused permission to appeal yesterday's ruling to the Lords, he vowed to ask the law lords themselves for leave.

Giving judgment yesterday, the judges said: "It would have been a shameful emasculation of the court's duty to be fair if the assets which the husband built up in [the £68 million family trust] during the marriage had not been attributed to him."

Mrs Charman's lawyers had conceded that her husband's "extraordinary" success in business meant that she could not claim more than 45 per cent of his assets. But she challenged his argument that she was entitled to little more than 15 per cent.

In the event, a High Court judge awarded her 36.5 per cent last year.

That decision was upheld yesterday by Sir Mark Potter, president of the Family Division, sitting with Lord Justice Thorpe and Lord Justice Wilson.

Helen Ward, Mrs Charman's solicitor, said that the ruling brought "welcome clarity" to the law.

But Mr Charman described English family law as a mess. "It is muddled, incomprehensible and lags behind that in most other countries," he said. "With every big money case which comes before the courts at the moment, different rules seem to be applied - depending on the judges involved.

"The presumption of sharing and equality may well be entirely right for those of more ordinary means or where both parties have worked throughout the marriage and contributed to it.

"Different rules are needed where all the extraordinary assets are earned by one of the couple, allowing the other simply to wait to claim an enormous proportion of it on divorce without contributing materially to the acquisition of that wealth at all."







Art Hostage comments:


Comments have been removed and Art Hostage would like to offer sincere apologies if any offence was caused.
Request to remove comments recieved from Blogger Team 2.22 EST 21 June 2007 removed straight away.
Anyone with information on this crime is urged to contact your local Police station.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Brighton Antiques Mafia Strike Again With Impunity !!





























Raiders snatch £1.5m antiques
By Andy Davey
Daily Echo

A REWARD has been offered for the return of a £1.5million haul of valuable antique statues snatched in a raid on a flat in Bournemouth.

Burglars entered a first floor flat in Studland Road, between noon and 11.20pm on Thursday, May 17, and stole 12 Art Deco statues as well as cameras and electrical equipment.

Now police are appealing for information and an insurance company has put up a £50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the offenders, and recovery of the stolen items.

Detective Sergeant Craig Travers of Bournemouth CID, said: "It looks like the thieves knew exactly what to take and there's no doubt that they would have used a vehicle to remove this number of items. It's my hope that by releasing pictures of some of the very distinctive statues, together with the offer of a substantial reward, anyone with any information about the burglary, or about those involved, will come forward.

"I can't rule out the possibility that the stolen items may be in the local area, perhaps being stored by someone who may not even know that they are looking after stolen property.

"It is also my hope that those dealing in art and antiques will take careful note of the details of the stolen statues and I'm appealing to any dealer who knows, or believes they know, the whereabouts of any item."



Anyone with information about this theft must, I repeat must, as a matter of life and death visit
http://www.dorsetpolice.net/ for the truthful picture of how Dorset Police treat citizens





Art Hostage comments:

A trusted source, close to the Brighton Antiques Mafia tells Art Hostage:

"The truth is a Brighton Knocker Boy called------, nicknamed-------, called on this address some time ago and saw the Art Deco figurines, unable to buy anything he passed this information on to the Brighton Antiques Mafia A-Team of burglars.


These burglars -----and------were driven to Bournemouth by---- and burgled the flat and then made their way back to Brighton.

"Furthermore, there is now a Modus Vivendi between Irish Traveller Art thieves/Scousers and Brighton Antiques Knocker Boys, who are sharing intelligence about where the high value art is located."

"Bournemouth is just the latest place to be visited, focus is now on------where Brighton Knockers and Irish Travellers are getting together this coming week for new criminal acts."

"Why, only a few days before this theft of Art Deco Sculptures in Bournemouth two Irish Bogus officials, ------and his young buck---- tried in vain to rob an elderly person quite near the Art Deco Sculpture theft address, Brass street Bournemouth or something like that."


Back to the Art Deco sculpture theft, Some of the Bronze and Ivories figures have been sold to -------whilst others remain for sale.

------has offered a price for the rest of the Bronze and Ivory figures but that offer has been turned down.

The current location of the unsold stolen Art Deco Bronze and Ivories is------they are being stored in-------s house, a relative of one of the burglars.


It will take allot more than £50,000 to fill in the blanks, and in any case rewards are forbidden, and not paid, despite all the media rhetoric."



So, there we have it folks, Art Hostage cannot obtain the missing names and locations without paying this underworld source, or at least obtaining a written contract that is binding and lawful and will make payment once the thieves are caught and the property recovered.




Memo to the bad guys:


Take this as "Having your card marked" about a Cuckoo in your nest willing to sell you out as soon as Law Enforcement gets it act together.










Furthermore, if you bad guys want sell these for top money then the Russians are the end buyers of all high value Bronze and Ivories.





I know SEMION MOGILEVICH has a passion for Art Deco Bronze and Ivories and he has a large collection, not all stolen, but many bought legit in the Auction rooms worldwide.





SEMION MOGILEVICH has recently paid record sums for such Bronze and Ivories in London and I am sure he would be willing to buy the Bournemouth Bronze and Ivories for good money.





Trouble is getting them too him.






Warning--warning---warning---warning-warning------------Warning-------------Warning

Memo to all Antiques dealers


Danger----Danger-----------Danger---------------Danger--------------Danger----




To any Antiques dealer foolish enough to think the reward will be paid.


If an Antiques Dealer is offered any of these Bronze and Ivories, then he phones Bournemouth Police,they in turn wait for the handler to come back to the dealer, then Police arrest the handler and recover say, Two of the Bronze and Ivories.



Before the Antiques dealer can even think about any reward he must be registered as an informant/Human Source with Dorset Police to comply with the 2002 Proceeds of Crime Act.



It is only then, in theory, will Police give a Comfort letter to the Insurers allowing them to pay a reward.




However, even if this is done, Insurers have a secret code of conduct that means they will prevaricate and delay payment in order to reduce the amount.




When the Antiques dealer, who was responsible for the recovery and arrest, becomes disillusioned and frustrated the Insurers will offer about £1,000 and send the Antiques dealer on his way.




Now this Antiques dealer is left feeling victimised, ostracised by fellow Antiques dealers and will never, ever help Police again.





Added to all of that, the Antiques dealer will be regarded as a Grass/Stool Pigeon/Rat and his Antiques dealing days will be numbered.




The moral of this story is any Antiques dealer that is approached to buy these Bronze and Ivories must think very, very carefully and consult a lawyer before he does anything, better still refuse to buy the Bournemouth Bronze and Ivories and keep quiet about the approach.



Otherwise any Antiques dealer trying to do the right thing will be hung out to dry.



Very sad, but true.
Still not convinced, then revisit:
http://www.dorsetpolice.net/




Memo to Detective Sergeant Craig Travers of Bournemouth C.I.D




Go back to arresting people for dropping a piece of Cucumber, or possession of an egg with intent to throw, that's what reaches the Govt targets and stop mis-leading the public.
Anyone with information about crime in the Dorset Police area visit http://www.dorsetpolice.net/
for a taste of the kind of treatment dealt out to honest law abiding citizens


If Craig Travers would like to know of the reception awaiting him if he wants help from Sussex Police

A must read of this true story for a taste of the factional resentment between Police forces

http://arthostage.blogspot.com/2007/01/keystone-cops-plead-with-criminal-for.html
http://arthostage.blogspot.com/2007/01/keystone-cops-plead-with-criminal-for.html
http://arthostage.blogspot.com/2007/01/keystone-cops-plead-with-criminal-for.html
http://arthostage.blogspot.com/2007/01/keystone-cops-plead-with-criminal-for.html

































Thursday, May 24, 2007

Whitey, one Step Ahead, For How Much Longer????????


Target 12 Investigators Exclusive: New Information About Whitey Bulger

(WPRI) -- A Target 12 Investigators' Exclusive. We've uncovered new information about notorious New England mobster James J. Whitey Bulger.

Bulger, one of the FBI's top ten most wanted fugitives, has been on the run since 1995. Now, Our Target 12 Investigators have learned there may have been a recent sighting of the gangster, and his girlfriend.

It was a tip that sent FBI agents just this month to Europe.

Law enforcement sources tell Target 12, notorious gangster James J. "Whitey" Bulger may have been spotted in Italy as recently as last month. And unlike other tips that often come into the FBI, this one, came with pictures.

Since his disappearance from the streets of Boston in the mid-90's, James J. "Whitey" Bulger and his companion Catherine Greig, have successfully eluded law enforcement.

So, when a source came to the drug enforcement agency with a picture of what looked to be Bulger and Greig in Italy, the feds took it seriously.

Bulger, is wanted for 19 murders and for running a criminal enterprise out of Boston.

Here's what law enforcement sources tell the Target 12 Investigators.

There are two pictures: one of an older man with glasses. The other, his female companion. Sources say agents ran the photographs through facial recognition software. The computer was not able to determine if the photo of the older man was in fact, "Whitey" Bulger.

But, the results of the picture on Catherine Greig showed a possible match. Agents from the DEA brought their findings to the FBI-led "Bulger Fugitive Task Force."

Law enforcement sources tell Target 12 that after reviewing the findings, FBI agents flew to Italy just three weeks ago to follow the lead.

A spokesperson for the Boston office of the FBI as well as the Bulger Fugitive Task Force would not comment on our report.

But, the FBI- says neither Bulger nor Greig is in custody. It is unclear why the photos were given to the DEA originally, which is not part of the task force.

Bulger, now 77-years-old, is on the FBI's ten most wanted list along with Osama Bin Laden. The International manhunt has been on since Bulger fled prior to his January 1995 indictments.

The FBI says the last credible sighting of Bulger was in London in 2002, where agents found a bank account tied to the fugitive.


Whitey Bulger Busted in Berlin


MILAN— Infamous Boston mobster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger was arrested Wednesday night at the Heavenly Acres trailer park in Milan where he has been hiding for the past three years.

Striking in the middle of the night, FBI agents set up barriers and surrounded the modest trailer. Bulger’s longtime girlfriend, Catherine Greig immediately surrendered, running out of the trailer with her hands over her head, dressed in a skimpy green negligee.

Bulger, however, refused to give up. He kept police at bay for several hours but finally surrendered after agents set up loud speakers and blasted Barry Manilow tunes at the building.

As the alleged leader of the Boston-based Winter Hill gang, Bulger is alleged to have been involved in scores of killings and is wanted for murder, racketeering, money laundering, narcotic distribution among other charges.

On the FBI’s ten Most Wanted List, Bulger was the inspiration for crime kingpin Francis “Frank” Costello, played by Jack Nickerson in the movie ‘The Departed’.

Bulger had successfully eluded authorities since 1998 but in the end the aging gangster’s body gave him away. A nurse at Androscoggin Valley Hospital official saw the 77-year old Bulger’s picture on America’s Most Wanted and recognized him as a former patient who had undergone minor surgery at the facility for hemorrhoids.

She notified authorities and is in line to cash in on the $1 million reward.

Burger and Greig locally went by the names Tony and Carmela Alto. Neighbors at Heavenly Acres described them as a quiet couple who enjoyed barbecuing on their Weber gas grill.

“They seemed so ordinary - just like regular folks,” said Mary Smith, who asked that her real name not be used. “Although come to think of it, they never had much company. And when they did it was always strange-looking guys with names like No-Neck and Li’l Antony.”

Another neighbor said the two did a lot of walking and Bulger was fond of the fried haddock plate at Northland Restaurant. He occasionally attended mass at St. Anne Church where he liked to pass the collection plate. Church officials said receipts for masses that Bulger worked were about 20 percent lower than usual.

The pair were regulars at Sunday night Bingo at the V.F.W. Club. One volunteer worker described Bulger as polite and said he liked to play a lot of cards. The worker, however, recalled an incident in which Bulger knocked over the card of a player sitting next to him after the player had called Bingo before him.

“It was apparent Bulger was mad the player had reached Bingo before him. He had been waiting some time for one letter and it was a big jackpot. He had a killer look in his eyes,” the volunteer said.

After his arrest, Bulger was taken before Berlin District Court Judge Ann Wallace for bail hearing. The mobster, rumored to have been a ladies man during his years in Boston, winked at the judge and asked if she remembered him. The judge was not amused, noting that the balding Bulger was hardly someone she would let under her robes.


That comment elicited an angry outburst from Bulger who had to be physically restrained. As he was dragged from the courtroom, Bulger yelled, “I can have you killed. You’ve messed with the wrong man.”

Well, it’s about time. Just like that wiley SOB to be hinding right under our noses, in a trailer park bunker in Berlin…..



Art Hostage comments;


Truth is Jimmy B (Whitey Bulger) and Kate Grieg are now in the South of France with view to visiting Ireland this Summer.


Perhaps even a brief visit to the south coast of England?


The reason why the DEA got the photo's is because the Bulger Squad historically may have been guilty of leaking info to Whitey via a third party of their plans so he can make good his escape before they arrive.


However, that was then and now the Bulger Squad are reputed to be clean as a whistle and totally honest????

Grass/Inform Your Way To Millions !!





Whistle-blowers could share fraudsters' assets

LONDON (Reuters) - Whistle-blowers could be rewarded with a share of any assets seized from fraudsters, the Home Office proposed on Thursday.

The measure is part of a package of plans put forward by the Asset Recovery Agency in an effort to boost the amount it confiscates from criminals.

Set up in 2003, the agency collected 23 million pounds in its first few years -- but at a cost of 65 million pounds.

Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker suggested members of the public who "shop" people or companies defrauding the government, such as benefits cheats or VAT-dodgers, should be offered a percentage of assets seized.

Other measures include removing the time limit for the seizure of assets, new powers to reclaim luxury items such as jewellery and plasma TVs, and extending powers to include the seizure of cash and other assets such as cars or boats believed either to have been used in crime or be the proceeds of crime.

The agency also plans to ensure that the recovery of assets is mainstreamed into the criminal sentencing process.

Coaker said: "Asset recovery is critical to the fight against all levels of crime and is one of the government's top priorities for law enforcement."

The agency been given a target of recovering 250 million pounds by 2009/2010 -- double this year's figure.

Coaker said the long-term aim was one billion pounds.

Estimates suggest that organised criminals are probably generating about two billion pounds of recoverable assets in the UK every year, with possibly another three billion pounds of revenue sent overseas.

Rewarding whistle-blowers would follow a similar system to that adopted in the United States, the so-called Qui Tam approach, where informants can receive between 15 and 25 percent of proceeds in a successful case.

The Home Office said such powerful and flexible measures had been "strikingly successful" in America, particularly in the defence and healthcare sectors, with 11 billion dollars (5.5 billion pounds) raised annually.

"They would be a novel import into England and Wales," it added, in its consultation paper "The Asset Recovery Action Plan".



Shake-up in hunt for crooked cash



Members of the public could receive a share of recovered money if they blow the whistle on major fraud against the government or its agencies.
The idea forms part of a planned shake-up of rules on seizing criminal profits, to put asset recovery at the core of the criminal justice system.

The aim is to double the money seized from criminals to £250m a year by 2010.

The news comes as the Asset Recovery Agency, due to be scrapped in 2007, said it met targets for the first time.

The agency has been widely criticised, not least in a scathing National Audit Office report, for costing more than it recovered.

But in 2006-7, the amount recovered was £15.9m, compared to its budget of £15.5m, and in line with the agency's target of £9.5m-16m.

It also froze criminal assets worth £73.6m, well above its target for the year.

The Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) is the only body allowed to chase criminal assets through the civil courts even if there has not been a conviction.

But the government is also planning to extend these powers to prosecutors to help it hit its £250m target.

"If we're going to make that kind of step-change, we have to mainstream this all across the law enforcement community," said ARA director Alan McQuillan.

Serious crime shortfall

The UK introduced its first comprehensive rules for taking profits away from criminals in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

The act has been refined several times since, as part of the government's belief that asset recovery is crucial to tackling organised crime.

The Serious and Organised Crime Agency (Soca) - sometimes dubbed "the UK's FBI" - is putting financial investigators in every one of its operational teams, and insists that tracking criminal assets will be a priority in every case - although it admits it has missed its first-year targets for asset recovery.


Now, the government hopes its action plan for asset recovery will embed asset recovery in the heart of the criminal justice system.

The process was started earlier this year with the announcement that the Asset Recovery Agency would be abolished and rolled into Soca, and that prosecutors would get extra powers to chase criminal assets.

The plan is included in a consultation designed to address criticisms of the UK's proceeds of crime legislation.

The government wants to make the confiscation of criminal assets an automatic part of all criminal cases, and to give magistrates' courts powers to imposed "criminal benefit orders".

It also wants to extend cash seizure rules to include assets such as vehicles used to commit crimes, as well as big-ticket consumer goods such as jewellery or plasma TVs.

And it wants to change the current rule that only assets acquired in the past 12 years can be frozen or recovered - a rule that former Assets Recovery Agency Director Jane Earl said had hampered its work.

Sweeping overall

But some critics say the rules need a more sweeping overhaul.

For instance, they say that - as in the US and Ireland - investigators should be able to choose whether to go for a conviction and subsequent recovery, a civil suit or simply to tax offenders on their illegal earnings.

And they say that Asset Recovery Agency's figures have been flattered by several big cases.

ARA's Alan McQuillan acknowledged that a single big settlement helped the 2006-7 figures.

The case involved Northern Irish businessman Dylan Creaven, who agreed to pay £18m - £11m of which came to the agency - despite having been acquitted of VAT fraud.

But Mr McQuillan added: "Our targets were based on the analysis that the Creaven case would roll over. This year, the profile is of lots of mid-level cases - each worth seven figures."




Fraud whistleblowers could get cash rewards


Peter Walker and agencies Guardian Unlimited
Thursday May 24, 2007

1.45pm

Members of the public who inform on companies or individuals defrauding the government could get huge rewards under possible new laws outlined today.


The Home Office consultation paper on recovering more illegally-acquired assets also proposes other new measures making it easier to seize criminals' "bling", such as expensive jewellery and electrical goods like plasma screen televisions and laptop computers.

The paper describes a government aim to double the current amount of illicit assets seized every year to at least £250m by 2009-10, a figure it calls a "staging post" towards an eventual annual target of £1bn a year.


The most eye-catching new scheme is based on a US measure known as Qui Tam - the first words of a Latin phrase meaning "he who sues for the king as well as himself" - which allows anyone who becomes aware of a fraud to launch a legal claim on the government's behalf.
In successful cases, informants receive between 15% and 30% of seized assets.

The principle dates back to 1790 but has been far more widely used since a change to US law in 1986. Since then there have been more than 5,000 actions in which whistleblowers have received almost £900m in awards, while recovering £5.5bn for the state.

"It seems to have been successful in the US," said home office minister Vernon Coaker, introducing the consultation paper.

"We are asking is it applicable in this country, is it something that people would find acceptable and is there a workable model?"

The Home Office paper calls the US system "strikingly successful" but stresses that it comes from a "very different US historical, legal and cultural context", one currently alien to England and Wales, where it could be introduced.

The document, which is open to responses until November 23, also suggests a series of other changes to make it easier for criminals' assets to be taken from them.

One proposal would involve changing the law to allow police to seize high-value goods as soon as a suspect is charged and hold the items pending a trial, selling them in the event of a guilty verdict.

The paper also outlines the "radical option" of allowing the seizure of not only cash and cash substitutes but also so-called "lifestyle property" such as jewellery, plasma TVs and laptops to an equivalent sum

It notes: "While this would be a highly powerful tool against bad criminal role models, it would clearly increase the risk of human rights challenge."

The paper also proposes removing a current 12-year time limit applying to the Assets Recovery Agency's ability to confiscate property under civil recovery laws.

Earlier this year the ARA's former director, Jane Earl, admitted that the agency had been hampered by the time limit which meant it could not pursue some of its key targets.

The ARA was set up in 2003 and given powers to confiscate assets from crooks, even if they had not been convicted of a crime. If a criminal confiscation or civil recovery proved impossible, officials could land the law-breakers with a tax bill.

The agency was described as a "mess" earlier this year after the National Audit Office said it had cost £65m to run but had seized only £23m from crooks.

However, the agency's new annual report, published today, revealed that for the first time it had seized more money than it cost to run it in the past 12 months, £15.9m against £15.5m.





Art Hostage comments:




Finally, after intense lobbying by Art Hostage and others the Home Office is hopefully about to embark on a course of action that will see a real sea-change in how those who have crucial inside information are treated.





Art Hostage is letting it be known that those with crucial inside underworld intelligence can start ordering the new Bentley and Country house, and look forward to an opulent life after they give their information to authorities.





A word of caution, any deal done with law enforcement must be done with a lawyer and be in writing in order to prevent authorities from refusing to pay fees to sincere informants.





If Law Enforcement is sincere about this new direction then it will send a shudder down the spine of those engaged in high value crime and money laundering.





Today is a good day lets hope this becomes reality sooner rather than later.









Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Da Vinci or Da Copy ??


The mystery of Karlskrona's da Vinci


Southern Sweden could soon be home to what its owners claim will be one of northern Europe's finest museums of Renaissance art. So why is it resolutely ignored by the art establishment?
Paul O'Mahony investigates.

The city of Karlskrona on Sweden's south-eastern tip is home to a mystery that has remained unsolved for more than a decade: Why has Sweden's art establishment chosen to ignore a seemingly mouth-watering private art collection?


Leading experts from the art world have corroborated claims by a pair of aristocratic Bosnian brothers that their collection includes works of major artistic importance.

However, the notion that a major da Vinci might grace the walls of a little known provincial museum has proved too much for some critics to stomach.

Some have said that the painting on display in Karlskrona does indeed date back to the Renaissance but is probably the work of a pupil of da Vinci's. Others have just laughed out loud.

But what of the rest of the collection - the purported works by Caravaggio, Fragonard, Van Gogh, Brueghel and Picasso, the Mayan sculptures and the Song dynasty porcelain?

Rizah and Senad Kulenovic believe strongly in its authenticity and are currently hatching plans to establish the city of Karlskrona as a vital stop-off point for art enthusiasts the world over.

The fortified city of Karlskrona - constructed at the end of the 17th century to allow the Royal Navy unhindered access to the Baltic Sea - is the jewel of the south-east of Sweden.

But while the UNESCO World Heritage Site may boast some outstanding architecture, its cultural output is less than world class. Rizah and Senad Kulenovic hope to change all that.

The brothers recently splashed out 800,000 kronor ($112,000) on wrenching from the the city council a piece of prime real estate on Karlskrona's monumental Great Square.

The Water Castle - a reservoir constructed in 1863 in the French Norman style - once provided inhabitants of the city with a reliable supply of drinking water.

In recent years however the reservoir has fallen into disrepair; it lacks sufficient insulation, running water or a sewage system.

The Kulenovic brothers however have already begun work converting the Water Castle into a major tourist attraction.

Projects in the pipeline for the new venue include exhibitions of internationally renowned artists, concert performances and the opening of an outdoorcafé.

The story of Rizah Kulenovic's arrival on Swedish shores stretches back thirty years.

Though he may have had good reason to flee Tito's Yugoslavia, the decision to choose Sweden is as mysterious as the relative anonymity of his art collection.

"It was destiny, my friend," he tells The Local.

Soon he met his future wife and put down roots in the southern part of the country.

Then, fifteen years ago, he received notification that he was to be entrusted with the family art collection, of which he knew little at the time. His investigations soon revealed an intriguing background.

The Kulenovic family traces its heritage back to 15th century Venice. Successive generations of artists, scientists and humanists gradually built up a very substantial art collection, not all of which survived.

"We know that some pieces were stolen from an international exhibition in Budapest in 1905. More disappeared during the Soviet years," says Rizah Kulenovic.

The family deposited the artworks in secure vaults in various European cities. There they remained until Rizah Kulenovic got the letter stating that the family treasure was to be placed in his care.

Having brought together the collection's disparate strands, Kulenovic soon believed himself to have made an astonishing discovery: one of the paintings was identifiable as The Nativity, a missing work by Leonardo da Vinci.

"There are many da Vinci paintings not yet found. This one was missing for 500 years but now it is here," he says.

Following the discovery, Rizah Kulenovic set about opening a museum. The result of his labour was the Museum Lionardo da Vinci Ideal, which opened its doors more than a decade ago.

But the museum has remained relatively obscure since the authenticity of its most central work was called into question in the mid-1990s.

The controversy meant that Rizah Kulenovic was forced to open the museum without the local government funding for which he had hoped.

While undoubtedly a setback, the blow was softened somewhat by the proximity of his brother.

Many years after his Rizah's arrival, Senad Kulenovic too made his way to Karlskrona, where he currently runs the popular Restaurant Montmartre.

"It's good to be working, and it's somewhere for us to drink a coffee or a cappuccino," says Rizah Kulenovic, who has never doubted that the painting in his possession is a genuine da Vinci masterpiece.

As an artist himself, Rizah Kulenovic is a keen student of theories of human movement in the works of Leonardo da Vinci. In his opinion, there is simply no other artist capable of the techniques evident in the Karlskrona painting.

"There are sketches for this painting in many places - in the Louvre and in America - but this is the original," he says.

In the mid-1990s, two leading art experts travelled to Malmö to look at the painting first hand. Both left with the view that it was most likely the work of one of da Vinci's pupils rather than the master himself.

"Ah, the experts! Come see it with your own eyes. It is like the difference between seeing God and not seeing God," says Kulenovic.

One of those who travelled to Malmö was Bo Ossian Lindberg, professor emeritus at Turku University in Finland.

"It was not by Leonardo. The type of Madonna in the painting was quite similar to a Leonardo. Both Carlo Pedretti and I agreed that it was a painting from the early 16th century, probably the work of one of Leonardo's pupils," Lindberg tells The Local.

As for the rest of the collection, Lindberg was quite impressed.

"Only a few works were on display, but they were interesting paintings. The collection is quite good," he says.

But Kulenovic will not be swayed. As far as he is concerned - and as the name of his museum suggests - Karlskrona is home to a major work by da Vinci.

Another person with great belief in the potential of the new museum is Hans-Fredrik Samuelsson, a former UN diplomat and the project's main spokesman.

On returning to Karlskrona after 25 years abroad, Samuelsson became intrigued by the Kulenovic collection and has long argued that it deserves pride of place in the city.

"The museum's move to the Water Castle will signal a new era in Karlskrona's development," Samuelsson tells The Local.

He too is dismissive of any attempts to cast doubt on the collection's authenticity. Both Samuelsson and Rizah Kulenovic take as an example The Stolen Kiss, a painting by the influential eighteenth century French artist Jean-Honoré Fragonard.

Samuelsson and Kulenovic both assure The Local that the original is to be found not at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg but at the Museum Lionardo da Vinci Ideale in Karlskrona.

But a spokeswoman for Mikhail Piotrovsky, director of the Hermitage, argues that it is "absolutely out of the question" that the museum would display anything other than the original.

"This painting in Sweden is such a bad copy that you can tell just by looking at the museum's website.

"It is also a much later copy, and a very bad one at that," she tells The Local.

Rizah Kulenovic however is defiant.

"It's always like this in the art world. But my painting is signed by Fragonard.

"The art expert Alexandre Ananoff wrote a letter to me in 1988 confirming that mine was the original. He also mentioned that the Hermitage painting was a copy in a small book that accompanied an exhibition of French painting at the National Gallery in London," he says.

Kulenovic also reminds us that his collection consists of more than just paintings.

"Just recently the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul wrote to me about a unique piece in my ceramics collection," he says.

Soon art connoisseurs will be able to judge for themselves, with the new museum expected to open its doors next spring.

Rare Raphael work up for auction




Rare Raphael work up for auction


A painting by Renaissance artist Raphael is expected to fetch £15m when it is sold in London later this summer.
The portrait, of Florentine ruler Lorenzo de' Medici, has not been seen in public for 40 years - but will be displayed at Christie's from 30 June.

The auctioneer describes the work as the most important Renaissance portrait to be sold at auction for a generation.

In 2004, the National Gallery raised £22m to stop Raphael's Madonna of the Pinks leaving the UK.

The Italian painter started as a competent master of provincial church decoration and became one of the greatest painters of his era.

When the portrait of Lorenzo de'Medici was last sold in 1968, there was debate over its origins. However, major scholars now agree it is a genuine Raphael.

'Blind date'

The portrait was commissioned by Pope Leo X after he arranged a marriage between his nephew, Lorenzo de'Medici, and Madeleine de la Tour d'Auvergne, a cousin of Francois I, King of France.

The couple had never met, and so Raphael's paintings were to serve as an introduction - in a Renaissance version of the blind date.

In his portrait, Lorenzo is seen dressed in a gold tunic and fur-lined cape, resplendent against a rich green background.

The Pope's introduction seems to have worked - the couple married in 1518 and had a daughter, Catherine de' Medici, who went on to marry King Henry II of France.

"We are excited to offer this remarkable work by Raphael, one of the most renowned and accomplished of European artists," said Richard Knight, international director of Christie's Old Master Department.

"The importance of the artist and the sitter, together with the provenance and the historical context behind this painting's creation, make it one of the most significant old master pictures to be offered at auction for a generation."

The sale will be held at Christie's in London on 5 July.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Antiques expert found not guilty



Antiques expert found not guilty

A TV antiques expert accused of stealing two paintings from an elderly woman's home has been found not guilty.
Michael Hogben, 54, of Dymchurch Road, Hythe, had denied one count of theft between 2 June and 4 November, 2005.

He appeared before Canterbury Crown Court on Monday where the case was dropped following legal argument.

Mr Hogben is known for his appearances on television shows such as the BBC's Bargain Hunt and ITV's Real Deal and is also an auctioneer and valuer.



Innocent telly antiques star forced to find cash for legal fight



A TV ANTIQUES expert accused of stealing two valuable paintings from a pensioner has revealed how he had to liquidate his pension fund to survive the two year legal battle.

Michael Hogben, 54, who hosted BBC’s Bargain Hunt and was best man at comic Vic Reeves’ wedding, said he was 'ecstatic' that the case had finally been thrown out of court.

Speaking after the case against him was thrown out at Canterbury Crown Court last week because of lack of evidence, Mr Hogben said: "Financially it has been stressful. It has almost ruined me because I haven't been able to work."

"I couldn't advertise my services and I couldn't work on television while this was going on.

"I've built up a pension fund over 20 years of hard work and I've had to liquidate everything to survive."

Mr Hogben said he was arrested after he valued two paintings at £100 each for a client and had sent them to an auction house to be sold.

The paintings, however, never arrived and the owner subsequently launched a legal battle saying the paintings were worth 'thousands of pounds' and that Mr Hogben had stolen them.

Mr Hogben, of Hythe in Kent, said: "I'm ecstatic. I think it was bizarre I was accused in the first place, and my lawyers and the judge thought so too.

"It should never have been dragged out this long. My first book came out in November last year and no-one turned up to the book signing in Hythe."

Mr Hogben had earlier denied one count of theft between June and November, 2005.

Judge Nigel van der Bijl told the auctioneer on Monday: “The case is now now over, you are an innocent man.

"The key to the case is the paintings and they have disappeared."

Mr Hogben studied art and spent 20 years in the antiques trade specialising in Victorian oil and watercolour paintings, and has been an auctioneer based in Folkestone for the past 15 years.


Friday, May 04, 2007

Armed Lowry theft can be solved, for a Price !! Updated !!










Lowry paintings stolen in robbery

Valuable paintings by LS Lowry have been stolen by robbers who tied up their owner and threatened his wife and two-year-old daughter with knives.
Louise Aird, 40, let the gang in to the house at Brackenwood Drive, Cheadle Hulme, thinking it was a post delivery.

Three men, armed with knives, tied her art collector husband Ivan up, in what police said was a "terrifying" raid.

Five artworks, thought to be worth more than £1.5m in total, and Lowry's palette and brushes were taken.

The most valuable works are the Viaduct, at about £700,000 and The Tanker Entering The Tyne, which is worth between £500,000 and £600,000.

'Targeted attack'

The others are a pencil sketches - The Bridge at Ringley and The Street Market.

The value of the palette and paintbrushes is not known, because they are so unique.

The raid happened just before 0800 BST on Thursday morning.


Det Ch Insp Linda Reid, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "This would appear to be a targeted attack by burglars who knew exactly what they were looking for.

"They must have known Mr Aird was an art collector and that he would have the paintings in the house.

"These paintings are extremely valuable to collectors but someone would have to know the right people to sell them on to, I would appeal to any art dealers to look at the e-fit and see if it is anyone they know.

"The brutality these men showed to the Aird family was horrific. They may not have physically harmed them but they were left extremely shaken by the whole ordeal."

An e-fit has been produced of one of the robbers. He was white, in his 30s with a round face and was wearing a fluorescent jacket.

Another was of mixed race and the third was wearing a balaclava.

Police also want information on a light blue estate car or people carrier seen close to the house.

Thieves threatened to kill girl, 2, as they stole Lowrys at knifepoint

By Ian Herbert
Published: 05 May 2007 The Independent

An art dealer who knew LS Lowry from childhood was attacked and tied up by knife-wielding thieves who stole works by the artist worth more than £1.4m.


The raiders assaulted Ivan Aird, 41, at his home in Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire, on Thursday and threatened to kill his two-year-old daughter before making off with prized paintings, The Viaduct, valued at more than £700,000, The Tanker Entering the Tyne, worth up to £600,000, and treasured brushes and a pallete which belonged to Lowry.

Mr Aird knew Lowry through his father George, and the artist was a regular visitor at the family's home most weekends from the 1960s until his death in 1976.
Young Aird with Lowry Mr Aird described yesterday how he was forced onto his knees, with his hands behind his back by robbers who threatened to kill his daughter Sabrina, who was in his wife's arms.

"The guys burst in through the door with a big knife," said Mr Aird. "They tied me up with cable ties and put me down on the floor. All they said was they were going to murder me. It was absolutely terrifying.

"I've been a lifelong fan of LS Lowry. My father bought paintings from him. They [the stolen paintings] are very well known. If these people try to sell the paintings on, they will be recognised so I am hoping we will get them back."

The theft reflects soaring demand for Lowry (1887-1976), one of the most collectable British artists. The value of his work has been increasing at between 20 and 25 per cent a year. Another Cheshire gallery owner lost a £115,000 Lowry oil last September when masked robbers armed with a cast-iron manhole cover broke into his gallery in the village of Hale. The gang heaved the cover out of a pavement a quarter of a mile away from the Clark Art Gallery and hurled it through the plate glass front window to secure access, having tried and failed to run a wooden plank through the gallery's windows.

Once inside, the thieves picked out 15 paintings. The Lowry oil was among three pieces by the Salford artist that were taken, along with Sit Terry Frost's Red Wedge, valued at £52,000.

Britain's art market is second only to the US and experts claim up to £200m worth of stolen art and antiques are sold each year. Interpol estimates that art theft is the fourth largest organised crime. However, Scotland Yard's arts and antique squad has been scaled down and has left the nation's heritage in peril, according to fine art insurers.

Also stolen in the latest raid were Pencil Sketch of The Surgery, valued at £38,000 and Pencil Line Drawing The Street Market, valued at £50,000.

Police yesterday released photographs of the stolen paintings and have also produced an e-fit of one of the offenders, described as white, in his 30s, with a round face and wearing a fluorescent jacket. Another is described as mixed race and the third was wearing a balaclava. All three spoke with local accents.

Detective Chief Inspector Linda Reid, from Stockport CID, said: "This would appear to be a targeted attack by burglars who knew exactly what they were looking for."


Armed raiders steal £2m Lowry artworks from dealer’s home
Russell Jenkins

An art dealer and his wife told yesterday how thieves armed with knives threatened to kill their two-year-old daughter before stealing paintings and drawings by L. S. Lowry, worth £2 million.

The raiders struck at the home of Ivan Aird, 41, a fine arts dealer, in Cheadle Hulme, near Manchester, at 7.50am on Thursday. Louise Aird, 40, was cradling their daughter, Sabrina, in her arms when she opened the front door to a man she assumed was the postman.

She was confronted by three men who tied up Mr Aird and said that they would murder him and the child if they did not get what they wanted. They made off with two well-known Lowry paintings, a number of pencil drawings and the artist’s palette and brushes.

The Viaduct is valued at more than £700,000 and The Tanker Entering the Tyne at £600,000.

Detectives believe that the burglars knew what they were looking for. Mr Aird, a director of Grove Fine Art, is the son of George Aird, Lowry’s framer. Mr Aird is a well-known dealer in Lowry originals, providing works to collectors around the UK and Europe.

He said: “The guys burst in through the door with a big knife and said they were going to kill our daughter. They tied me up with cable ties and put me down on the floor. All they said was that they were going to murder me. It was absolutely terrifying.”

Police have released photographs of the paintings and the three sketches. Detective Chief Inspector Linda Reid said: “These paintings are extremely valuable to collectors but someone would have to know the right people to sell them on to. I would appeal to any art dealers to look at the e-fit and see if it is anyone they know.”

Shelley Rohde, the author of L. S. Lowry: A Biography, said that The Viaduct was an iconic image. “Nobody is going to buy these works because this theft is going to get on the grapevine pretty quickly.”

There are fears, however, that once the thieves realise that the paintings are unsaleable, even on the black market, they may destroy them.

Officers said one of the men was white and wore a fluorescent jacket. Another was of mixed race and hid his face behind a balaclava. There were reports of a light blue estate car outside the house.





Art Hostage comments:




An underworld contact tells Art Hostage that this was an Inside job, so to speak.
Um, when was the last time they were valued???????????
In days of old, the local underworld godfather would put out feelers about who did this, if he was not involved.
The local Police would visit the Godfather and say, "We want the pictures back first and foremost"
Local Godfather would pay off the handler and the pictures would appear at a given location, unharmed.
The local Godfather would collect any reward, if he could prove he was not implicated in the theft or subsequent handling of the stolen art, if there was not a reward to collect then the local Godfather would receive favours in kind if and when he may find himself under investigation.
Distasteful as this may seem, it was effective in keeping the lid on this kind of armed violent robbery.
In preventing crime a deal always is done with senior underworld figures in order to keep a relative order.
Now Law Enforcement are prevented from doing any kind of deals crime of this nature is going unchecked and will grow steadily.
There may be a success for the Police in this case, but make no mistake, society has become so vacuous that normally honest people would sell information to criminals if they had a friend who collected high value art.
Every guest to a home filled with valuable art must be scrutinised and the owner/art collector must consider if they could leak information to the underworld about the contents.
Today's dinner guest, visitor, tradesmen are potentially tomorrows criminal architect of an inside job.






Who obtained the inside knowledge and who it was passed to is available, for a price, oh what a vacuous world we live in !!







The names of the perpetrators can be obtained if only there was a way to reward those who can access this valuable information.







Quote:



"This Lowry theft was carried out by ...., his mate............, and another person who hails from ......................, they have already sold the Lowry's to.................. this current handler is looking to offload the Lowery's for a sizable profit"






To be continued....................................