Germany: 5 sentenced to prison for 100-million-euro jewellery heist

The thieves stole 18th-century jewels from the eastern German city’s Green Vault Museum on November 25, 2019

By AP

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Visitors stand in the Jewel Room during the reopening of the Green Vault Museum in Dresden's Royal Palace of the Dresden State Art Collections in Dresden, Germany, on May 30, 2020. — AP
Visitors stand in the Jewel Room during the reopening of the Green Vault Museum in Dresden's Royal Palace of the Dresden State Art Collections in Dresden, Germany, on May 30, 2020. — AP

Published: Tue 16 May 2023, 1:30 PM

Last updated: Tue 16 May 2023, 1:31 PM

A German court on Tuesday convicted five men over the theft of 18th-century jewels worth more than 100 million euros from a Dresden museum in 2019.

They were sentenced to prison sentences of between four years and four months and six years and three months, German news agency dpa reported. One defendant was acquitted.


The Dresden state court ruled that the five men — aged 24 to 29 — were responsible for the break-in at the eastern German city’s Green Vault Museum on November 25, 2019, and the theft of 21 pieces of jewellery containing more than 4,300 diamonds, with a total insured value of at least 113.8 million euros ($129 million).

They were convicted of particularly aggravated arson in combination with dangerous bodily injury, theft with weapons, damage to property and intentional arson.


The men laid a fire just before the break-in to cut the power supply to street lights outside the museum, and also set fire to a car in a nearby garage before fleeing to Berlin. They were caught several months later in raids in Berlin.

In January, there was a plea bargain between the defence, prosecution and court after most of the stolen jewels were returned.

The plea bargain had been agreed to by four defendants, who subsequently admitted their involvement in the crime through their lawyers. The fifth defendant also confessed, but only to the procurement of objects such as the axes used to make holes in the museum display case, dpa reported.

The Green Vault is one of the world’s oldest museums. It was established in 1723 and contains the treasury of Augustus the Strong of Saxony, comprising around 4,000 objects of gold, precious stones and other materials.



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