'big money' Burglars took €28m from homes of stars
ALLEGED burglars who targeted the homes of celebrities including Frank and Christine Lampard made off with a haul worth millions during a fortnight-long spree, a court has heard.
Three such burglaries, carried out on London homes last December, netted "big money", with "fabulous jewellery and cold, hard cash" later laundered, Isleworth Crown Court was told.
The pinnacle was a £25m (€27.8m) raid at the Kensington home of Tamara Ecclestone, the daughter of ex-Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone, believed to be one of the biggest domestic burglaries in UK history.
Television presenter Christine Lampard and her Chelsea FC manager husband Frank had around £60,000 (€66,800) in watches and jewellery stolen the week before.
Raiders then ransacked the home of former Leicester City chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who died in 2018 in a helicopter crash.
The court heard the alleged burglars toasted the success of the raid on the Thai billionaire's property the following day with a champagne lunch at a restaurant only five minutes' walk from the crime scene.
Four people including an alleged Romanian escort and her son are on trial on suspicion of their involvement in the raids.
They are accused of being members of the "supporting cast" to the alleged burglars.
Opening the case, prosecutor Timothy Cray said: "We say that the four defendants were part of the support team.
"Every star needs a supporting cast, and we allege that this is how these defendants stand to the alleged burglars."
The alleged burglars cannot be named for legal reasons.
The prosecution alleges that Alexandru Stan (49), Maria Mester (47), Sorin Marcovici (53) and Emil Bogdan Savastru (30) were all involved at various times in the conspiracy to burgle the three homes.
They all deny criminal involvement.
The trial is expected to last for up to six weeks.