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Million-dollar wine theft

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The perpetrators of a theft in Spain of 45 bottles of wine valued at 1,650,000 dollars are arrested

The Spanish National Police have managed to arrest last Tuesday a man and a woman as alleged perpetrators of the theft that took place in October of 45 bottles of wine in the Atrio restaurant in Cáceres (Spain), valued at 1,650,000 dollars. One of them is unique in the world and was valued at 315,000 dollars. They succeeded in clearing up one of the most mediatic robberies in recent years.

The arrest took place in Croatia, at a border post with Montenegro. There was a great deal of national and international coordination, with the participation of agents from the Spanish National Police together with Europol and Interpol.

The events took place on October 27, 2021 and both the man and the woman had the experience to carry out a robbery with millimetric planning. The agents were able to establish that the woman stayed at the Atrio Hotel, formalizing the reservation using a false Swiss document.

After dining at the restaurant with her accomplice, both visited the wine cellar/museum at the invitation of the staff, which was a common practice with clients. After that, the couple went up to the room and, moments later, the man left the room to go to the basement where the wine cellar was located. After gaining access with a master key, previously stolen, he came out with three large backpacks, one in each hand and one on his back, where he put the bottles.

For protection inside the backpacks, they used several towels from the room where they were staying. While the man accessed the restaurant’s wine cellar, the woman distracted the security employee who was on duty at the front desk with the excuse that he should prepare her something to eat, even though the kitchen was already closed. The robbery was discovered the following morning, and the alleged perpetrators were found to have left the hotel at around 5:30 a.m. The couple visited the restaurant three times.

After numerous enquiries, both in Spain and in other countries, the agents managed to identify the two alleged perpetrators and discovered that they had “great professionalism, specialization and perfect planning of the robbery”, according to the Spanish National Police. In addition, it was found that they visited the restaurant three times before the robbery to make a preliminary study of the place.

A few days after the robbery they left Spain and their high mobility and itinerancy made it impossible to know their exact whereabouts until they were finally located entering Croatia from Montenegro through the Karasovi Sutorina border post. There they were arrested by the Croatian authorities.

Nothing is yet known about the bottles of wine.
Who drank them?

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