Couple jailed in Spain over 1.6-mn euro wine heist

Couple jailed in Spain over 1.6-mn euro wine heist

Couple jailed in Spain over 1.6-mn euro wine heist

A Spanish court on Monday jailed a couple for stealing 45 bottles of wine worth over 1.6 million euros from a hotel restaurant in what police called a “meticulously planned” theft.

A bottle of Chateau D’Yquem 1806 worth 350,000 euros was among the wines stolen from the Atrio hotel in Caceres in southwest Spain in October 2021 in the heist which made global headlines.

A court in Caceres sentenced the woman to four years in jail and the man to four and a half years, after finding them guilty of burglary with forced entry.

The court also ordered the pair, who were arrested in July 2022 in Croatia, to pay compensation of 753,454 euros to the hotel.

The woman, who according to Spanish press reports is a former Mexican beauty queen, checked into the hotel using a fake Swiss passport, the court said.

At 2 a.m. the woman called the reception and asked the “sole employee” who was working at the time to make her a salad, according to the court ruling.

While the employee was preparing the salad, the man slipped into reception and stole an electronic key which he thought would gain entry to the wine cellar but it was the wrong one.

“The accused returned to the reception and from a box he took master key number 27, which he used to open the wine cellar from where he took 45 bottles of wine,” the court said.

The man, who reportedly has Romanian and Dutch citizenship, carried the bottles to his room in a rucksack and two large bags before the receptionist returned to his post.

The couple had “meticulously planned” the heist, visiting the restaurant three times to prepare the raid, Spain’s National Police said in a statement when the pair were arrested.


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