Spain Recovers Purported Eva Peron Jewelry

Posted June 29th, 2011 at 10:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Authorities in Spain say they have recovered $9 million worth of stolen jewelry that allegedly belonged to the late former first lady of Argentina, Eva Perón.

The interior ministry said Wednesday that the historic collection was found in a Milan hotel and recovered with the help of the Italian police.

Seven suspected members of a Serbian gang have been arrested in the case.

Some pieces of the stolen jewelry remain missing.

The jewels had been stolen in a complicated 2009 robbery in the eastern Spanish city of Valencia.

Members of a criminal gang introduced the owner of an upscale jewelry store in Valencia to a man disguised as an Arab sheikh.

According to the police statement, the bogus sheikh pretended he was buying a large amount of expensive jewels for his many wives. He handed over stacks of euros for the purported purchase, which were placed in a drawer at a business center. A small man, hidden under the drawer's false bottom, took the money and replaced it with paper stacks which only had euros on the top.

When the jewels were brought and the jewelers wanted to re-inspect the money, the gangsters threatened to kill them and fled with the loot.