Gang faces jail after targeting celebrity homes in £ 26million burglary wave
The gang behind Britain’s biggest heist are facing jail after stealing Â£ 26million of cash and jewelry from celebrity homes – but the loot was never recovered.
Socialite Tamara Ecclestone, the 37-year-old daughter of ex-Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, was on vacation in Lapland with her husband, art gallery owner Jay Rutland, their daughter and their dog when their Kensington mansion took over. been trashed.
Around Â£ 25million in jewelry, gems and silver were stolen in what was believed to be the country’s largest domestic burglary on December 13, 2019.
The gang also targeted the home of former Chelsea FC midfielder and manager Frank Lampard and his wife Christine, a TV presenter, escaping with Â£ 50,000 worth of watches and jewelry.
Nearly a million pounds worth of watches, cash and a collection of Thai Buddha pendants were removed from the property of the late Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, which had been turned into a shrine by his family after his died in a helicopter crash in 2018.
The three raids were carried out over 13 days by an international gang of criminals who flew between the UK and Italy, Sweden and Japan.
Almost none of the stolen loot, believed to have been taken out of the country, has been recovered and one of the suspected burglars, Daniel Vukovic, 40, who is believed to be in the Serbian capital Belgrade, is still wanted by police. .
Full details of the case can be reported after 24-year-old Jugoslav Jovanovic admitted his involvement in the plot to launder the proceeds of the burglaries following his extradition from Italy.
Jovanovic, of Milan, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiring to commit money laundering between December 10, 2019 and January 31 last year, during a hearing at Isleworth Crown Court, where he was due to stand trial .
He had previously admitted to conspiring to burglarize between November 29 and December 18, 2019 and attempted to convert criminal property, regarding an unsuccessful offer to purchase two Louis Vuitton jackets from Harrods using stolen money.
Jovanovic celebrated the second raid at Mr Srivaddhanaprabha’s home by hosting a lavish dinner at a luxury sushi restaurant in Knightsbridge.
He will be sentenced on November 15 alongside Italian nationals Alessandro Maltese, 45, and Alessandro Donati, 44, who were also extradited to the UK and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burglary.
Met’s Flying Squad Detective Constable Andrew Payne said: diamonds and cash.
âThey were successful in executing the first step of their plan which saw them carry out what is believed to be the biggest residential burglary in UK history.
âThey undoubtedly thought they had run away with their crimes, but they didn’t realize how determined we were to identify them and bring them back to the UK to be brought to justice.
âThe evidence against them was so overwhelming that they had no choice but to plead guilty and this is due to the hard work of the team working on this case.
âAlmost all of the property stolen in these burglaries has never been seen again, in large part thanks to Jovanovic’s successful money laundering. It is a huge loss for the victims for whom many objects had sentimental value. “
In January Romanian nationals Alexandru Stan, 50, Sorin Marcovici, 54, Maria Mester, 48, and Emil Bogdan Savastru, 30, were cleared of conspiracy to commit a burglary after a two-month trial, after jurors decided they were not part of the “supporting cast.”