A SPANISH restorer of antique jewellery and his Indian accomplice have been arrested in Madrid for alleged extortion of antique dealers who sent them items for renovation.
The crooked pair had managed to accumulate 15th and 17th century pieces worth an estimated €150,000, after agreeing to restore items that were never returned, with the rightful owners subsequently receiving phone calls demanding a ransom for the treasures.
Other victims included jewellery merchants in Barcelona and Argentina, with the latter paying a significant fee to reclaim their 17th century trinkets which were worth €240,000.
The dastardly duo even sent kidnapper-style photos to the hapless dealers to prove that the items were in their possession.
Police investigators discovered that the person making the phone calls was an Indian national connected with the restorer, with the two dividing monies received between them.
Officers searched the homes of both men following their arrests, and recovered a number of items, including a gold pendant decorated with emeralds worth €18,000, a gold crucifix worth €14,000, and a brooch valued at €80,000, among others.