INTERPOL say they’ve drawn a blank over last October’s theft of vintage wine believed to be worth over €1 million from a restaurant in Caceres, Extremadura.
Police think there’s every chance that the 45 stolen bottles are somewhere outside Europe.
The Michelin two-star restaurant’s wine cellar was raided at the Atrio hotel with the haul including a 1806 bottle of Chateau d’Yquem worth over €300,000.
The total value of the stolen bottles has never been officially revealed.
The police probe turned up nothing and specialised private detectives were hired by the Atrio’s insurers who have experience in tracking down stolen art.
The team has monitored international black markets without any leads.
Appeals for information resulted in hoax phone calls demanding a reward for the safe return of the wine.
Restaurant co-owner, Jose Polo, said he was convinced that two hotel guests, who paid for their stay with an untraceable credit card, were behind the the theft.
He believes they were hired by somebody to commit the robbery.
“The couple wanted something to eat in the early morning and since the restaurant was closed, the receptionist left his post and prepared a salad for them,” said Polo.
“He took it up to their room while they went into the wine cellar and stole the bottles, without forcing any locks as they brought along specialist electronic gear, “ he added.
The Atrio has negotiated a compensation package with the insurance company, which is apparently a multinational firm that specialises in covering ‘large risks’.
A confidentiality agreement means the restaurant cannot divulge who the company is or how big a payout they will get.
The wine cellar is said to be fully insured for the value of its stock.
Jose Polo said: “We will invest the money in buying more wine and improving building security.”
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