London
18°
broken clouds
humidity: 77%
wind: 6m/s WSW
H 18 • L 17
Weather from OpenWeatherMap


News

Irishmen in ‘Rathkeale Rovers’ gang convicted of plot to steal £57m worth of museum artefacts

(l-r)Daniel O'Brien, John O'Brien, Michael Hegarty and Richard O'Brien. (Pictures via Durham Constabulary)
(l-r)Daniel O’Brien, John O’Brien, Michael Hegarty and Richard O’Brien. (Pictures via Durham Constabulary)

FOUR Irishmen have been convicted of plotting to steal £57million worth of jade and rhino horns from museums across Britain to export to China.

Daniel ‘Turkey’ O’Brien, 45, John ‘Kerry’ O’Brien, 26, Michael Hegarty, 43, and Richard ‘Kerry’ O’Brien Junior, 31, all from Cambridgeshire but with links to Rathkeale in Co. Limerick, were found guilty of conspiracy to steal at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday.

Ten other men had already been convicted for the same crimes at previous trials in Birmingham.

More News:

They stole 18 jade exhibits from the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, where they drilled through the exterior wall to gain access to the building.

The gang also carried out two counts of theft from Durham University Oriental Museum and robberies at Norwich Castle Museum in Norfolk and Gorringes Auction House in Brighton.

museum2-n

The crimes were carried out between November 2011 and April 2012 and initially investigated by local police though it soon became apparent that a gang was behind the planned robberies.

Durham Police revealed how the artefacts stolen, along with those they had intended to steal, could have been worth up to £57m on the black market.

“Because of the variations which can be given by auction houses the total value of the items targeted comes to anywhere between £18m and £57m,” said Senior Investigating Officer for the operation, Detective Superintendent Adrian Green.

“This illustrates just how massively profitable this trade was viewed by the gang.”

The Irish Rathkeale Rovers gang have been investigated by the European police force, Europol, in the past – and several members of the gang have been arrested since their operation began.

Rhino horns in particular are in high demand in China, where they are used in controversial preparations of the country’s traditional medicines.

Sentencing will be carried out on a later date.

Likes(0)Dislikes(0)

James Mulhall
ABOUT 

James Mulhall is a reporter with The Irish Post. Follow him on Twitter @JamzMulhall

Welcome to Irish post

Please share your email address to view the article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About us

The Irish Post is the biggest selling national newspaper to the Irish in Britain.

Irishpost.co.uk delivers all the latest Irish news to our online audience around the globe.

Contact Editorial

Editorial: editor@irishpost.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 8900 4193

Advertise

Advertising: advertising@irishpost.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 8900 4137

Subscribe

Irish Post