August 18, 2022

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Billionaire Bernie Ecclestone’s Daughter Offers $7.2 Million For Return Of Stolen Jewelry

Topline

British billionaire Bernie Ecclestone’s daughter Tamara is offering up to $7.2 million in exchange for information leading to the recovery of the more than $31 million worth of jewelry that was stolen from her London home in a 2019 heist, one of the biggest in British history.

Key Facts

Tamara Ecclestone said Sunday on Instagram she is willing to pay a reward equal to 25% of the value of any jewelry recovered as a result of the tip.

With the burgled items being valued collectively at $31 million, the maximum reward to recover all of the stolen jewelry could top out at about $7.2 million.

Tamara Ecclestone said only a single pair of earrings has been recovered so far, and she has accepted she will “likely never see” most of her stolen belongings again, which included family heirlooms and a “lifetime’s worth” of jewelry that she said was “far more valuable to me than their monetary worth.”

The Formula 1 heiress also offered a $300,000 reward for suspect Daniel Vukovic–who is believed to be in Serbia–to be turned over to London police.

She wrote she has “waited long enough” to get her items back by “conventional means,” adding she is ready to “go Mel Gibson style from the movie Ransom,” a film in which a millionaire takes money originally set aside for a ransom payment for his kidnapped son and instead places a bounty on the kidnappers.

Big Number

$3 billion. That’s how much Bernie Ecclestone and his family are worth, according to Forbes’ estimates. He previously ran the company that organizes Formula 1 competitions.

Key Background

In December 2019, Tamara Ecclestone, her husband Jay Rutland and their daughter Sophia took a private plane from London to Finland for the holidays. That same night, thieves broke into their home in Kensington Palace Gardens, a street in west London called “Billionaires Row” where business magnates like Roman Abromavich, Len Blavatnik and Lakshmi Mittal own homes worth nine figures. Tamara said the thieves ransacked “every single room” of the family’s property and stole items like jewelry and watches. It was part of a string of burglaries that also targeted soccer legend Frank Lampard and the late Leicester City chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, which prosecutors described as “the highest value burglaries that have ever come to light in the United Kingdom.” Last year, three Italian nationals were each sentenced to eight or more years in prison over the robbery.

Tangent

Earlier this month, Bernie Ecclestone was charged with fraud by British authorities, who accuse him of hiding about $476 million in overseas assets from the British government. He also courted controversy when he said in July he’d “take a bullet” for his friend Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom Ecclestone described as a “first-class person.” Ecclestone later apologized for his comments and said he does not support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Further Reading

How the Tamara Ecclestone diamonds case was cracked (BBC)