6 Mar, 2023 @ 18:14
1 min read

Vintage wine thieves in Spain ordered to pay over €750,000 to insurance company

Vintage wine thieves in Spain ordered to pay over €750,000 to insurance company
Atrio restaurant image

TWO people who stole vintage wines worth €1.6 million from a Michelin-starred Caceres restaurant in October 2021, have been jailed and ordered to pay compensation to an insurance company.

The Caceres Provincial Court in Extremadura has sentenced former Mexican beauty queen Priscilla Guevara to four years behind bars and her Dutch-Romanian boyfriend, Constantin Dumitru to four-and-a-half years.

They’ve also been landed with a bill of over €750,000 as compensation to the Atrio restaurant’s insurer.

The duo’s lawyers have said they will appeal the verdict and sentence.

The star attraction of the 45 bottle haul from the Atrio restaurant was a 1806 bottle of Chateau d’Yquem worth over €300,000, but none of the wines have been recovered.

The couple were arrested last July trying to cross into Croatia from Montenegro following extensive cooperation between Spanish authorities and police forces across Europe.

The trial heard that Dumitru and Guevara visited the Atrio hotel three times in the summer of 2021 to lay down the groundwork for the robbery.

They then struck on October 27 that year and even paid for their stay with an untraceable credit card with Guevera checking in under fake Swiss papers.

A hotel receptionist was distracted by a request from her at 2.10 am for a room service salad that took 20 minutes to prepare, giving Dumitru plenty of time to take an electronic key for the wine cellar from reception.

Unfortunately for him, he grabbed the wrong key, and he phoned Guevara to get her to ring the receptionist with a fresh demand- this time for some dessert.

The employee objected to having to leave his post again, but he reluctantly agreed to bring some fruit to her room.

Dumitru then got the right key and helped himself to the bottles which he placed in a backpack and two large bags.

The defendants left the hotel at 5.00 am and even stole four bathroom towels to stop the bottles clanking against each other as they departed the premises.

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