London, on trial the woman who made diamonds disappear for 4 million pounds by exchanging them for pebbles – Corriere.it

London, on trial the woman who made diamonds disappear for 4 million pounds by exchanging them for pebbles – Corriere.it
London, on trial the woman who made diamonds disappear for 4 million pounds by exchanging them for pebbles – Corriere.it
of Paola De Carolis

Lulu Lukatos, 60, stole seven precious stones.His other accomplices, including Christophe Stankovic, extradited from Italy last January, have already been tried and sentenced. But no trace of the stolen goods

LONDON – A sophisticated and ingenious plan, which by the police’s own admission has something of the plot of the film Ocean’s Eleven, to steal diamonds worth over four million pounds.

The trial against Lulu Lukatos, 60, born in Romania and domiciled in France, is underway in London, which according to the accusation is one of the missing pieces in the reconstruction of a robbery that deprived a well-known Mayfair jewelry store, Boodles, in heart of the British capital, of seven very expensive precious stones, replaced, under the eyes of the experts, with pebbles of the same size without any value. Lukatos pretended to be a gemologist sent by a group of Russian investors to examine, weigh and evaluate diamonds before finalizing their purchase in March 2016.

The woman, who used a false name, Anna, was accompanied by the president of the jewelry, Nicholas Wainwright, and the group’s gemologist, Emma Barton, to a room in the basement of the shop. L studies the seven stones, including a heart-shaped diamond worth over two million pounds, before wrapping them in tissue paper and placing them in opaque boxes. At the end of the operation she put the seven boxes in a handbag which was closed with a padlock under the watchful eye of the two experts. Wainwright, at this point, was forced to leave. Russian buyers had called him by phone to finalize the price and payment method. Lukatos took the moment to slip the purse into a larger purse he had with him. When Barton, a gemologist at the jewelry, told her that she absolutely could not lose sight of the diamonds, Lukatos took out her purse, but according to the accusation it was not the same, but an identical one, with the same boxes inside. Instead of diamonds, however, they contained stones. Wainright and Barton only became suspicious the next day when the payment was not made. At first they X-rayed the purse, then opened it, thus discovering the scam. Lukatos was far away now. Outside the jewelry store, according to the reconstruction made by the prosecution thanks also to CCTV cameras, he had met two women accomplices to whom he had passed the bag. She changed in a pub, took a taxi to St Pancreas station and boarded the Eurostar for Paris.

was only tracked down a few weeks ago. His other accomplices, including Christophe Stankovic, extradited from Italy last January, have already been tried and sentenced. For the moment there is no trace of diamonds.

July 21, 2021 (change July 21, 2021 | 19:18)

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