Rare books stolen in 2017 found under Romanian home |  Photo Credit: AP
The police in Romania have found around 200 books worth Rs 23.7 crore under the floor of a home. The “irreplaceable” books include first editions of work by Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton that were stolen from a warehouse in London in 2017, police and the European Union’s judicial cooperation agency.
The books were discovered on Wednesday in a concealed spaced under the floor of a house in rural Romania.
In a statement, London’s Met Police said that the recovered books have a combined value of more than 2.5 million pounds (Rs 23.77 crore), AP reported.
“These books are extremely valuable, but more importantly they are irreplaceable and are of great importance to international cultural heritage,” Detective Inspector Andy Durham said.
The rare books were stolen in a raid on a warehouse in west London in 2017. According to the police, burglars had avoided motion detectors by cutting holes in the roof and abseiling into the building. They loaded the books into 16 large bags and went back the same way.
Eleven similar burglaries were identified in a joint investigation by police from London, Romania and the Carabinieri in Italy, supported by EU agencies Europol and Eurojust in The Hague. About 2 million pounds worth of property was stolen.
The Met Police said that a Romanian organised crime gang was responsible for the heists.
The investigation led to a series of raids in the three countries in June 2019. Thirteen suspects were arrested and charged in the UK with involvement in the burglaries.
The Met said that 12 suspects have pleaded guilty and will face sentencing hearings starting later this month, while the 13th suspect is scheduled to go on trial in March next year.