Dutch dual national convicted for brazen wine robbery in Spain

A Spanish court has convicted a Dutch-Romanian national and his former Mexican beauty queen accomplice to four and a half years in prison for stealing 45 bottles of wine worth an estimated €1.6 million from a high-end restaurant in the city of Cácares in October 2021, Spanish media reported.

The court said there is ample proof that the two, named as Constantin Gabriel Dimitru and Lara Priscila Guevara, planned the robbery, the couple having been spotted at the hotel restaurant during the previous months, presumably doing reconnaissance.

After having eaten at the three Michelin starred restaurant –  a ’14 course taster menu’, the papers noted –  Dimitru tricked the receptionist into leaving her post by telling her he wanted a salad and stole the electronic key to the cellar. He stole the wrong key, however, and Guevara had to lure the receptionist away again, this time with a request for pudding.

In what the papers call, a ‘robo de película’, or something from a film, he then proceeded to stash 45 bottles, a Chateau d’Yquem worth €350,000 among them, into a big rucksack. He was careful to bring towels from the hotel room so the clinking of the bottles wouldn’t betray him, the papers said.

Nine months later the couple were arrested at the Croatian border with Montenegro.

Dimitru and Guevera maintained their innocence throughout as there was no footage of them actually taking the wine. But after being sentenced Dimitru directed a barb at a hotel restaurant of such standing, with a cellar full of historic wines for not having surveillance cameras. ‘We wouldn’t be standing here talking about what presumably happened inside if it had,’ he said.

It is not known where the wine is now. ‘There is a lively market for bottles like this,’ José Polo, co proprietor of the restaurant said.

Some have suggested the couple, who were also told to pay €753,454 to the restaurant in compensation, may have hidden the Chateau d’Yquem as a ‘pension pot’.

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