The main suspect and an accomplice of the spectacular art robbery in Rotterdam last year were sentenced to six years and eight months in prison on Tuesday in the Rumanian capital Bucharest, Dutch media reported on Tuesday.
The main suspect, the 29-year-old Radu D., stole seven paintings and watercolors by artists like Picasso, Monet, Gauguin and Matisse in the Museum Kunsthal in Rotterdam in the night of October 16-17, probably together with another suspect. The paintings were part of the Triton collection, a private collection of the Rotterdam shipping magnate Willem Cordia (1940-2011).
The 25 -year-old accomplice Eugen D. received the same punishment as the main suspect. He admitted that he drove the stolen art to Romania, hidden in pillowcases. In Romania the suspects tried to sell two paintings, which ultimately led to the arrest of five suspects.
Both convicted Romanians had already confessed and therefore got a relatively minor sentence. They were sentenced for theft and membership of a criminal organization. The Romanian prosecutor had demanded a maximum sentence of 18 years for burglary with "serious consequences", the disappearance of the artworks with an insured value of 18.1 million euros (24.5 million U.S. dollars).
The two perpetrators are in custody since January this year and are therefore likely to be released in September 2019. They can still appeal the judge's ruling.
The case is not yet finished, with the other suspects facing a longer trial because they did not confess yet. An official investigation into what happened with the paintings is still running, but the art was probably burned. The mother of one of the thieves may face another trial in a separate court proceeding for allegedly destroying the seven masterpieces in her oven.