The story could inspire Hollywood screenwriters: a briochine had stolen nearly 5 million euros in diamonds from a luxury jeweler. A London court has just sentenced her to more than five years in prison on Wednesday.
“It is believed to be the most valuable individual theft ever committed in the country“Prosecutor Oliver Mosley said during the trial, describing the heist as”a conspiracy of the highest sophistication“.
In March 2016, Lulu Lakatos came to the London store of Boodles, a luxury jeweler, under the name “Anna”. Supposedly expert in precious stones, she says she was commissioned by potential Russian buyers to evaluate seven diamonds, kept until their transfer in a padlocked bag at the back of the store’s vault.
The boss of Boodles, Nicholas Wainwright, having been briefly absent to speak on the phone to a potential Russian buyer, the diamond crusher takes the opportunity to exchange the precious gems in a few seconds for vulgar little pebbles.
Denounced by a witness, Lulu Lakatos is then searched, but the diamonds, apparently hidden in a hidden compartment of her bag, are not found. As unbelievable as it may sound, the briochine, of Romanian origin, leaves with its loot, worth £ 4.2million (nearly € 5million).
The treasure would then have been handed over to an unknown woman, before all the protagonists of this story fled to France in less than three hours.
“A very sophisticated crime”
The sleight of hand was however captured by surveillance cameras, which identified Lulu Lakatos, already sentenced three times in France for theft. Lord of her trial, she denied being responsible for the heist, accusing her late little sister Liliana Lakatos, 49, of being “Anna”. According to the accused, her sister – wanted for a similar plot in Switzerland – confessed to her having stolen her passport to commit this crime, a few months before she died in a car accident in Romania, in October 2019.
This version did not convince the jury of the London court, which almost unanimously found Lulu Lakatos guilty of criminal conspiracy on Wednesday, after more than nine hours of deliberation.
“It was a very sophisticated and daring crime in terms of planning, risk and reward, a crime in which you played an integral part.“said Judge Emma Goodall, who sentenced her to five and a half years in prison.
Two accomplices, Christophe Stankovic and Mickael Jovanovic, were respectively sentenced to three years and eight months in prison after pleading guilty. Other people are always wanted. The diamonds have never been found.
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