Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Stolen Art Watch, Graff Jewel Heist, Déjà vu !! Update !!!


£40m jewels raid planned for two days earlier

The two men who pulled off Britain's biggest jewellery heist in central London planned to carry out the robbery two days earlier, Scotland Yard has said.
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The announcement came as CCTV images of the men wanted in connection with the £40m raid at Graff Jewellers on Thursday were released showing them outside the store on Tuesday.

Detective Chief Inspector Pam Mace, head of Barnes Flying Squad, said "We believe this was more than just a practice run, and that they were planning on committing the robbery on the August 4."

The CCTV images show the men outside the New Bond Street store at around 5.40pm on Tuesday.

Ms Mace said: "The stills clearly show the men outside Graff Jewellers, looking into the shop, and the blue BMW driving through New Bond Street.

"There has been a £1m reward offered in connection with the identification, arrest and prosecution of the persons responsible, and the recovery of the stolen property offered up by Tyler and Company on behalf of the interested insurers, and I am urging anyone who has information about those responsible, or where the jewellery is to come forward.

"They are wearing similar clothing to when they committed the offence on Thursday August 6, however the white man is wearing, in these stills, a purple shirt and no tie.

"What happened on Tuesday August 4 after they left the area? Did you see them or the BMW, we need you to come forward and speak to us please."

A Scotland Yard spokesman said there was no indication why the men did not carry out the raid on Tuesday.

The robbers fired a gun during their escape on Thursday and again as they got into a silver Mercedes in nearby Dover Street and were challenged by drinkers at a pub.
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Update:
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The two Graff robbers are believed to have been bankrolled by a gangster who planned to hijack £22million of Graff gems at Heathrow last year – but aborted the raid at the last moment.
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The crime boss, based near Tower Bridge in London, is being pursued for questioning, said a police source.
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He is a white businessman from Essex – known as a ‘face’ – who has run a number of businesses within the London area.

He has a palatial house in Essex, Just round the corner from Mark Dalrymple, the Loss Adjuster in the Graff case, who might be willing to accept the stolen Graff jewels back over the garden fence ???
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An underworld source, a former armed robber, said it was originally planned to seize Graff’s diamonds as they were about to be couriered to New Bond Street from Heathrow more than a year ago.
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He said: ‘The initial plan involved a mole within Graff who was tipping off the team on how to co-ordinate the robbery. He was part of the security team within the store.
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The gems were to be flown into Heathrow and then a three-man squad would impersonate Graff’s security personnel, hijack the shipment at a private area and then disappear.
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‘But after four months of planning, the final shipment was cancelled and the team decided to reassess how they were going to hit the store.’
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According to the source, the middle-aged crime boss portrays an image of respectability in his day-to-day life but for the past decade he has run a cadre of criminals he recruits from the streets of the capital.
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The source says he employs up to 250 people, many of them drivers.
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Company records show he was involved in setting up numerous firms within the security and building industry and then shutting some down within a matter of months.
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Four security companies he was involved with have been dissolved in the past four months after trading for only a few years.
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The source says that the ‘Mr Big’ became obsessed with hitting the upmarket jewellers and decided that however long it took, he would commit the biggest robbery he could possibly get away with
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The source added that one of the two raiders caught on CCTV cameras at the shop was involved in the aborted plan to rob Graff at Heathrow.
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The man, believed to be Ethiopean or Sudanese, is a highly skilled driver who works for the businessman as a trusted aide.
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The gangland source said: ‘He is a trusted ally and has been around for the past couple of years.
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‘He has been involved in previous work for the boss and is a big, intimidating presence.
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‘He used to be a night driver for the boss’s company and he knows how to handle himself. The governor thought the world of him.
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‘Over the past year and a half different faces would have changed within the planning but he has stayed throughout.
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‘He is well-trained in the skills of high-speed driving and security work and I wouldn’t be surprised if he drove one of the getaway cars that were used.
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‘Three cars and a motorcycle were used in last week’s raid and that is why he was such an integral part of the team.’ Police have confirmed DNA of one raider and are awaiting further results to identify the rest of the gang.

COPS probing the £40million Graff robbery may have found the gang's burned-out getaway car. -
Forensic experts are searching the VW Sharan - discovered in Ickenham, West London - for DNA clues.

The two gunmen used a Sharan after fleeing the store in London's Mayfair in a BMW and switching to a Mercedes.

Flying Squad cops are after a gang of six from South East and North London - and think they are still in Britain.

A police source said: "They haven't gone anywhere. We have impeccable intelligence they are lying low in the UK."


Update:

Top Israeli officials have been linked to Britain's biggest ever jewelry heist, in which gems worth up to $65 million (£40m) were stolen.

According to an Israeli report, three former senior officials in the Israeli army were the main share holders of the company responsible for guarding the Graff Diamond jewelers in central London, where the robbery took place.

The Universe Security Group (USG) has been in charge of the security of the store, after a group of Balkan robbers -- dubbed the Pink Panther gang -- carried out an armed raid on the same store in May 2005, taking off with 1 million pounds worth of diamonds.

Nahum Admoni, former Mossad chief and Maj. Gen. Uri Sagie, former chief of intelligence in the Israeli army, reportedly resigned from the leadership of the London-based group, just two months before the heist.

Another primary share holder of the security company is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's special adviser, Isaac Molho.

Art Hostage Comments:
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That's it then, case solved, we can all go home now !!!!
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Not so fast !!!!!!!

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