Two men who conspired to steal £1million worth of diamonds in a City heist have been sentenced to jail.
Nicolae Danut Bodea, 36, and Aurelian Buza, 32, both of Amersham Road, High Wycombe, Bucks, were sentenced at Inner London Crown Court on 3 October for their parts in the high-value theft.
The court heard how, on 24 February, two business partners attended the Silver Vaults in Chancery Lane to meet two clients, a man and a woman, who claimed to be interested in buying five diamonds valued at approximately £1m.
During the meeting it is believed the man switched the envelopes the diamonds were stored in, feigning interest in other pieces of jewellery that were present, including a necklace worth nearly £1.2m.
Police enquiries found that the man responsible for the theft walked in the direction of High Holborn after leaving the Vaults, where he was picked up by a grey Volkswagen. A third suspect wearing a distinctive scarf and sunglasses was also seen getting into the vehicle on CCTV.
The driver was identified as Bodea, who was also the registered owner of the car, while the rear seat passenger was identified as Buza.
The vehicle was placed on the national ANPR system and was stopped by police in High Wycombe on 26 February.
The distinctive scarf, sunglasses and other clothes worn by Bodea on the day of the offence were found at his address along with personal items of Buza’s, such as his passport.
The man believed to have carried out the theft within the Vaults has been identified but is still outstanding.
Detective Constable Colin Calvert from the City of London Police said: “This was a serious and complex case which involved several people and significant planning.
Two men who conspired to steal £1m worth of diamonds have been sentenced to jail.
Nicolae Bodea was sentenced to 21 months for conspiracy to steal and an additional 4 months for possession of articles for use in fraud. Aurelian Buza was given 9 months.https://t.co/P6diibgZcN pic.twitter.com/4Ayw1FqjqL
— City of London Police (@CityPolice) October 4, 2018
“Our Major Crime Team worked hard to make these arrests quickly and gather large amounts of overwhelming evidence to ensure justice would be served and a conviction secured.”
Both defendants pleaded guilty at a court appearance on 6 August.
Bodea was sentenced to 21 months for conspiracy to steal and an additional four months for possession of articles for use in fraud. Buza was given nine months.
On 14 August, a 42-year-old woman, from Barking, Essex, was found not guilty of conspiracy to steal following a trial, also held at Inner London Crown Court.