An accused burglar has appeared in court today charged with involvement in the £50million Tamara Eccleston jewellery raid after being flown from Italy.
Alessandro Maltese, 44, was detained this month under a European Arrest Warrant following an investigation by the Met’s Flying Squad.
He was returned to Heathrow yesterday, and is accused of involvement in high-value burglaries between November 30 of last year and February 1, including the break-in of Formula 1 heiress Ms Ecclestone’s London mansion.
Maltese appeared in the dock at Westminster Magistrates’ Court wearing a scarlet jumper and black trousers and spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth through an Italian interpreter.
He entered no pleas and was remanded into custody to appear at Isleworth Crown Court for trial with four other defendants on November 2.
Alessandro Maltese, 44, was detained in Italy this month under a European Arrest Warrant following an investigation by the Met’s Flying Squad (pictured, arriving at court)
He was returned to Heathrow yesterday and will today appear in court charged with ‘conspiracy to commit burglary between November 30 last year and February 1′ (pictured, the Serco van he was taken to Westminster Magistrates’ Court in today)
Thieves stole £50million worth of jewellery from Tamara Ecclestone, who is pictured with husband Jay Rutland
Jennifer Gatland, prosecuting, said: ‘Mr Maltese is here today following being arrested on a European arrest warrant, this part of a sophisticated international organised crime group. The values involved are astronomical.’
Housemaid Maria Mester, 47, and her barman son Emile-Bogdan Savastru, 29, are alleged to have conspired to burgle a reported £50million burglary of Formula One heiress Ms Ecclestone’s ‘Billionaire’s Row’ home on November 29 and December 18, 2019.
Security worker Sorin Marcovici, 52 and Mester are also charged with conspiracy to burgle house on exclusive Tregunter Road, Chelsea between December 7 and 11.
Hotel worker Alexandru Stan, 49, faces one charge of conspiracy to burgle items worth £17m from an address on Walton Place, Chelsea, between November 29 and December 9, 2019.
Stan is alleged to have sourced a vehicle for the group and arranged a ‘bolthole’ for the gang in Orpington.
Marcovici is alleged to have driven the group during reconnaissance trips to the target properties.
Items allegedly stolen from Tamara Ecclestone’s home on December 13 include a £300,000 pair of rare 18-carat diamond earrings and a Louis Vuitton bag.
Mester was allegedly wearing the jewellery when she was held after arriving at Stansted airport on January 31, travelling from Italy where she lives.
It is claimed Savastru was found in possession of a Louis Vuitton bag similar to one taken in the raid and was planning to board a flight to Japan, which he denies.
Savastru is also alleged to have been in possession of counterfeit pounds and euros when arrested.
It is understood this included the break-in of Formula 1 heiress Ms Ecclestone’s £70million London mansion on December 13 (pictured, arriving at Westminster Magistrates’ Court)
Mester and Stan deny the allegations and are being held in custody until the November 9 trial.
Ms Ecclestone, daughter of former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone, was on a Christmas holiday with husband Jay Rutland and their daughter Sophia, during the raid.
She was said to have been left ‘shaken’ by the raid of hidden safes at the 55-room property near Hyde Park, where neighbours include Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and the Sultan of Brunei.
Ms Ecclestone, her husband Jay and daughter have shared photos of the luxury mansion on social media in the past, and featured it on their ITVbe reality show.
Maltese, 44, of Italy, indicated no plea to the same burglary conspiracy and was remanded into custody to appear at Isleworth Crown Court on November 13.
Mester Mester, of no fixed address, denies conspiracy to commit burglary and concealing criminal property.
Savastru, of Tower Hamlets, denies conspiracy to burgle, having counterfeit currency notes and attempting to remove criminal property.
The heist at Ecclestone’s house (above) took place on one of London ‘s most exclusive streets, nicknamed Billionaire’s Row, in Kensington
Marcovici, of Romford, and Stan, of Constable Gardens, Harrow, deny conspiracy to burgle.
A pre-trial review will be heard at Isleworth Crown Court on October 27 ahead of trial on 9 November.
A Scotland Yard spokesperson said: ‘A man has been charged in connection with a series of high-value burglaries in December 2019 following an investigation by the Met’s Flying Squad.
‘Alessandro Maltese was returned to the UK via Heathrow on Thursday, 15 October following his arrest in Italy under a European Arrest Warrant earlier this month.
‘He was charged with conspiracy to commit burglary between Saturday, 30 November 2019 and Sunday, 1 February and remanded in custody to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 16 October.’