|Romanians held for trying to sell stolen masterpieces
Three Romanians allegedly involved in a theft from a Dutch museum last year were caught while negotiating the sale of the stolen masterpieces, a Romanian newspaper reported.
Romanian police and the prosecutor's office dealing with terrorism and organized crime declined to comment on the report in Evenimentul Zilei.
Romanian police told AFP on Tuesday that three people were arrested in Romania on suspicion of involvement in the theft of seven masterpieces, including Monets and a Picasso, in Rotterdam's Kunsthal museum in October, but refused to elaborate.
Dutch police say paintings have not been recovered.
The paintings are worth between 50 million and 200 million euros on the open market.
According to judicial sources quoted by Evenimentul Zilei, the three suspects come from the Tulcea region in eastern Romania and had been under investigation for violent offences in the past. They are being detained for 29 days in line with a court decision overnight Monday, a court spokeswoman said.
Seven masterpieces, including paintings by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet and Paul Gauguin, were stolen from the Kunsthal museum on October 16, the biggest such heist in 20 years.
The theft gripped the Netherlands and the art world as police apparently struggled to piece the crime together, despite putting 25 officers on the case.
Dutch police released grainy security camera footage of the theft, which took place around 3am. The footage showed two apparently young men entering and leaving the museum within barely 90 seconds.