Man convicted over huge gem heist in Britain

25th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

A London court on Friday convicted a 24-year-old man for a brazen raid on a jewellery store which netted gems worth 40 million pounds (60 million dollars, 49 million euros).

Aman Kassaye was found guilty of kidnap, conspiracy to rob and possessing a firearm after he forced a shop assistant to steal valuables during the raid at the exclusive Graff jewellery shop last August.

Kassaye used a professional make-up artist to disguise his appearance.

A jury at Woolwich Crown Court was considering verdicts against six other other co-defendants.

The raiders shot at anyone who tried to stop them, the court heard. Footage was shown to the court of Kassaye firing a shot in the street outside the store as passers-by began to realise what was happening.

Graff, which is known for its diamonds and celebrity clientele, was also targeted in 2003 in what until then was thought to be Britain's most expensive jewellery robbery, worth 23 million pounds.

Stars spotted wearing Graff's jewels include Paris Hilton, Kylie Minogue, Naomi Campbell, Oprah Winfrey and Victoria Beckham.

The Graff heist is among the biggest ever in Britain. In 2006 a gang stole 53 million pounds in cash in a raid on a Securitas depot in Kent, southeast England.

© 2010 AFP

0 Comments To This Article