A FAKE sheik and a man hidden under a desk are to blame for stealing Evita’s jewellery from Spain.

After a complex undercover operation involving Interpol, police have recovered six million euros of jewellery – once owned by the former first lady of Argentina – which was stolen from Valencia two years ago.

According to the authorities the robbery was carried out by a gang of seven from Serbia who saw the collection at an exhibition in 2009.

In a bizarre modus operandi the so-called ‘sheik’ accompanied by his assistants handed over stacks of money to the owners of the Joyas Sofia jewellery shop at a meeting in December 2009.

The thieves then asked the jewellers to put the gems on a desk while they counted the 10 million euros payment.

But one of the accomplices was hiding under the desk ready to switch the real money with false bank notes.

The hoard – which has now been discovered in a luxury hotel in Milan – included a diamond tiara given to Eva Perón by the King of Holland in the 1950s which, alone, is worth four million euros.

The jewels are now back with the Spanish authorities and seven people – including the bogus sheik – have been arrested and extradited to Spain.

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