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Burglar admits plot to get £26m haul stolen from stars’ homes out of country

Jugoslav Jovanovic was part of an organised international gang of thieves who ransacked the Kensington mansion of socialite Tamara Ecclestone in 2019.

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Tamara Ecclestone (David Parry/PA)

Tamara Ecclestone (David Parry/PA)

Tamara Ecclestone (David Parry/PA)

A burglar involved in the UK’s biggest ever raid has admitted a plot to get £26 million worth of cash and jewellery stolen from celebrities’ homes out of the country.

Jugoslav Jovanovic, 24, was part of an organised international gang of thieves who ransacked the Kensington mansion of 37-year-old socialite Tamara Ecclestone in the country’s largest ever domestic burglary.

Ms Ecclestone, the daughter of former Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, was on holiday in Lapland with her husband, art gallery owner Jay Rutland, their daughter and their dog when some £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 former Chelsea FC player and manager Frank Lampard and his television presenter wife Christine.

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Frank and Christine Lampard (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Frank and Christine Lampard (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Frank and Christine Lampard (Andrew Matthews/PA)

And almost £1 million worth of goods was swiped 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 Serbian capital Belgrade.

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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