Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Stolen Art Watch, Iconic Stolen Art found, London Deposit Box Raid, Harry Hyams, Lord Rothschild,Graff's, Harry Winston, America Holds their Breath !!

Security box raids: art and £16 million seized
Police have seized Renaissance artworks, £16 million cash, expensive jewellery and a gun after an unprecedented raid on concrete vaults holding 7,000 safety deposit boxes.

Scotland Yard believe the operation may unlock clues to every layer of serious crime in Britain - including murders, shootings, drug trafficking, fraud and paedophile gangs.

After two days of prizing open the boxes, police confirmed that the growing haul included several paintings. They are investigating whether they are stolen, or possibly forged.

Officers also found sheets of "uncut" counterfeit currency.

More than 300 officers and staff were involved in simultaneous raids at three depots in London's Park Lane, Hampstead and Edgware on Monday.

It is believed that a top tier of criminal masterminds may have rented out "the majority'' of the boxes from the company - Safe Deposit Centres Ltd - which has been operating for more than 20 years.

Assistant Commissioner John Yates, of the Metropolitan Police, said: "Each box will be treated as a crime scene in its own right.''

It is believed a potential £1 billion treasure trove of cash, drugs, artwork and stolen jewellery may be uncovered in the raids, codenamed Operation Rize.

Although police do not know how many of the £100-a-year boxes are being rented, detectives suspect that up to 90 per cent of them being used may hold criminal assets.

Commander Allan Gibson, Head of Economic and Specialist crime directorate said: "Operation Rize is a huge undertaking and we are still in an early phase of the enquiry.

"Search teams have been working around the clock to open all the boxes at the location and are progressing well, although we are likely to remain at the locations for some time yet. This is a complex and unique investigation that will use all of the expertise within the economic crime command and the findings are within our expectations at this stage.

"I am confident that this operation will have a damaging impact on organised crime in London and around the rest of the country."

Two directors of the company, Jacqueline Swan, 44, who was arrested at the Mayfair address, and Leslie Sieff, 60, who was detained in Hampstead, north-west London, have been bailed as the investigation continues.

Police said that a specially set up call centre has received a large number of calls from the public seeking the return of their property, which they claim is legally held and stored legitimately.

The number for members of the public who legitimately store property at the business is freephone 0800 030 4613.

Art Hostage comments:

When the U.S. Cavalry wanted to to find the Indians they used Indian trackers, in this case a top Underworld Godfather has dealt a blow to the global Criminal Underworld that will be remembered for years to come.
The legalities of this raid may be called into question but the resulting discoveries will far out way any legal oversight.
What will the Underworld Godfather who set this whole thing up receive....more later !!!
Although some stolen iconic art has already been discovered, Harry Hyams, Lord Rothschild's heart rate has increased, Graff's, Harry Winston on standby, this was known before the Police raided the deposit building, this was also used to obtain the warrants, much more is still locked away in boxes not yet opened.

The Police needed an "in" and stolen art was the intelligence.

More is coming in, funny enough from America !!

France, they recover stolen paintings taken last August , Britain, Manchester, Police charge a man with the violent Lowry theft, although no recoveries yet, this art recovery from London,above,
Please, please don't let the Gardner Museum be the Cinderella again !!!!!!!!!

The Gardner Museum shall go to the stolen art recovery Ball, arrests not needed !!

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