Tamara Ecclestone and Frank Lampard targeted by burglar who looted £26m in cash and jewellery

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Tamara Ecclestone, pictured in 2018 - Jeff Spicer/Getty
Tamara Ecclestone, pictured in 2018 - Jeff Spicer/Getty

A criminal involved in the UK's biggest ever domestic burglary has admitted a plot to smuggle £26 million worth of cash and jewellery stolen from celebrities' homes out of the country.

Jugoslav Jovanovic, 24, was part of an international gang of thieves who ransacked the Kensington mansion of socialite Tamara Ecclestone in the country's largest ever domestic burglary.

Ms Ecclestone, 37, the daughter of Bernie Ecclestone, the former Formula 1 supremo, was on holiday in Lapland with her husband, art gallery owner Jay Rutland, and their daughter when £25 million worth of jewellery and cash was stolen in December 2019.

The gang also took some £50,000 worth of property from the west London home of Frank Lampard, the former footballer, and his wife Christine, as well as stealing almost £1 million worth of goods from the property of late Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, which had been turned into a shrine by his family after he died in a helicopter crash in 2018.

Police have not recovered the £26 million worth of cash and jewellery stolen in the three raids, which is believed to have been taken abroad.

Jovanovic, from Milan, was extradited from Italy and was due to stand trial at Isleworth Crown Court. But he pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a charge of conspiracy to launder money between December 10 2019 and January 31 last year.

Jovanovic previously admitted one count of conspiracy to burgle between November 29 and December 18 2019 and one count of attempting to convert criminal property, relating to a failed bid to buy two Louis Vuitton jackets from the Harrods department store using stolen cash.

He will be sentenced on November 15 alongside Italian nationals Alessandro Maltese, 45, and Alessandro Donati, 44, who were also extradited to the UK and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary.

A fourth alleged burglar, Daniel Vukovic, 40, has never been caught and is believed to be in Belgrade, the Serbian capital.

In January, Romanian nationals Alexandru Stan, 50, Sorin Marcovici, 54, Maria Mester, 48, and Emil Bogdan Savastru, 30, were cleared of conspiracy to commit burglary following a two-month trial, after jurors decided they were not part of the "supporting cast".

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