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Suspect wanted for £26m raids on Tamara Ecclestone and Frank Lampard's homes is arrested in Serbia
20 December 2023, 15:39 | Updated: 20 December 2023, 15:43
A man wanted for ransacking £26 million worth of valuables from British celebrities' homes, including Tamara Ecclestone and Frank Lampard, has been arrested in Serbia.
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Four years after carrying out the biggest domestic robbery in British history, the suspect was arrested in Belgrade alongside five others for alleged money laundering offences, the Metropolitan police confirmed.
The suspect - who has not been named - is accused of carrying out a £25 million raid on television personality, and daughter of former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, Tamara Eccleston's home in December 2019.
Two other burglaries on London homes were carried out the same month, belonging to former Chelsea and England footballer Frank Lampard, and the deceased owner of Leicester City, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha - who died in a helicopter crash outside the club's stadium in the previous year.
The majority of the stolen items have still not been recovered.
Three Italian men - Jugoslav Jovanovic, Alessandro Maltese and Alessandro Donati - were previously arrested and convicted for a combined 28 years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to burgle.
Ahead of the arrests today, Serbian police previously refused requests by the Met Police to extradite the man.
But the Met said the recent arrests were made as part of an international money laundering investigation.
'One of the men, aged in his 50s, was wanted by detectives investigating a series of high value burglaries committed in Kensington and Chelsea in December 2019,' the Met said.
Ecclestone was on holiday in Lapland with her husband, their daughter and their dog, when the £25m heist occurred in their 57-room Kensington mansion, on 13 December 2019.
Meanwhile, the Lampards had around £60,000 in watches and jewellery stolen while they were out of their Chelsea property on December 1, 2019.
On December 10, the gang targeted Mr Srivaddhanaprabha's Knightsbridge home, which had been turned into a shrine by his family following his death, aged 60, in a helicopter crash shortly after take-off from the King Power Stadium on October 27, 2018.
Among more than £1 million in property stolen was a TAG Heuer watch he was wearing before he left for Leicester that day.
During the previous trial of the four convicted men, the court heard how burglars even popped a £500 bottle of Cristal champagne to drink as they carried out the raid and later celebrated with a £760 sushi meal in Knightsbridge restaurant Zuma.
On the way to the final £25 million burglary, Maltese stole a packet of chewing gum from a kiosk at Victoria station as the gang stopped to buy coffee and pastries.
Jovanovic and his uncle Vukovic were later seen on CCTV in Harrods department store spending thousands of pounds on luxury goods and signing up for loyalty cards using fake names.