Five men have been sentenced to several years in prison for their role in a $123 million heist that captured the world’s attention for its brazenness, public broadcaster MDR reported Tuesday.
Most the defendants involved received lighter sentences of up to six years in prison because they had partially confessed to the crimes after a legal “deal,” and some of the treasures were returned. A sixth defendant was acquitted.
The gang broke into the historic Green Vault in Dresden on November 25, 2019. CCTV camera footage showed two masked thieves smashing the glass and grabbing 21 diamond-studded artifacts.
The vault featured an astounding collection of historical jewelry and precious ornaments – from shimmering bowls carved out of crystal and agate to jeweled figurines and goblets fashioned from gilded ostrich eggs.
One of the most famous pieces of the collection, a 41-carat green diamond known as the Dresden Green, was not in the museum at the time, being on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Footage released by Saxony Police showed two people wearing dark clothes, moving quickly though the gallery using flashlights. One of them then uses an ax to break the glass – the video shows it takes the perpetrator at least nine hits before the glass breaks. A nearby electrical fire knocked out street lights in the area at around the time of the robbery.
In just a few minutes, some of the world’s most valuable historic jewels had vanished. Only some of the loot has since been recovered.
The director of Dresden’s State Art Collection, Marion Ackermann, said their material value doesn’t even begin to reflect their “incalculable” historical and cultural importance.
Nearly all the stolen artifacts were made during the rule of Frederick Augustus III, the last Elector of Saxony, who was later known as Frederick Augustus I, the first King of Saxony.
They included a 1780s hat clasp decorated with 15 large and more than 100 small diamonds, as well as a 96-centimeter (38-inch) sword and a scabbard, or sheath, which together contained more than 800 diamonds.
The judges of Dresden’s Regional Court imposed multi-year prison sentences on the five defendants who were convicted.
Rabieh Remo, one of the main perpetrators, will serve six years and two months in prison, according to MDR. His accomplice, Wissam Remmo, received six years and three months while Bashir Remmo was sentenced to five years and 10 months. Another participant in the crime was sentenced to four years and four months in prison under the Juvenile Criminal Code.
The four defendants had made confessions and returned part of the loot. A fifth defendant was sentenced to five years in juvenile detention – with the inclusion of an earlier conviction. The 24-year-old denied his involvement in the burglary until the very end. He claimed to have participated means of committing the crime, such as the axs.