Two British brothers were imprisoned and expelled from Switzerland

Two British Brothers were Imprisoned and Expelled from Switzerland

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Two British brothers were imprisoned and expelled from Switzerland

Louis Ahearne and his older brother Stewart Ahearne were extradited from the UK in 2022. Image: MET POLICE


Two British brothers were imprisoned and expelled from Switzerland.

After admitting to breaking into a Geneva museum and taking famous Chinese Ming Dynasty antiquities from the 14th century, two British brothers were sentenced to prison.

In June 2019, Stewart and Louis Ahearne testified before a Geneva court that they were members of a three-person group that broke into the Museum of Far Eastern Art.

The brothers were sentenced to three and a half years in prison each after the judge found them guilty of aggravated theft.

Additionally, he gave them each a five-year ban from travelling to Switzerland.

The Baur Foundation, which oversees the Museum of Far Eastern Art, was ordered to receive 15,000 Swiss francs ($17,400; £13,770) in damages from the brothers.

For the time being, they will serve their prison sentences in Switzerland.

The court previously heard that the power saw, sledgehammer, and crowbar used in the attack in June 2019 caused damage to the museum valued at approximately 3.5 million Swiss francs ($4 million; £3.2 million).

The brothers, from South East London, and a third man, identified by solicitors as Daniel Kelly, were all “equally involved” in the burglary, according to prosecutor Marco Rossier, who addressed the court.

President Patrick Monney of the Palais de Justice in Geneva delivered the verdict, noting that the gang “acted out of desire to enrich themselves” in addition to acknowledging their joint guilt.

He stated, “This desire was considerable.” He continued, summarising the evening’s events, “The three act together during the burglary on June 1, 2019.”

Two British brothers were imprisoned and expelled from Switzerland

The brothers were extradited in 2022 and the judge said their time spent on remand in prison would count towards their jail tarrif. Image: PATRICK TONDEUX


“They know where they are heading to the point where they run once inside after looking over the configuration the day before.

“They are able to go in through the hole and out through that same hole in less than minute.”

Louis Ahearne conducted reconnaissance of the museum, according to testimony given in court earlier, and Stewart, his older brother, rented Renault Captur vehicle in his name at Geneva Airport and drove it to and from the crime scene.

“Louis Ahearne booked the hotel room, [and acquired] the ski masks and clothing used in the burglary,” said Rossier.

“Everything was planned out and ready. Everything happened extremely quickly.”

Mr. Rossier clarified that the three men took one bowl to a Hong Kong auction company and that the raid included two bowls and a 14th-century vase.

The prosecutor further stated that Stewart Ahearne left his passport details when they sold the item.

A year after the theft, a second piece, a vase, was found in central London during an undercover sting operation with Metropolitan Police agents posing as art buyers.

A wine cup adorned with a chicken, the third stolen object, has never been found.

President Monney stated during his sentencing that “the prejudice caused is considerable and may be irreparable given the chicken cup has not been found since.

” The Ahearnes expressed regret for their acts and thanked their family for their support prior to the sentencing.

The Ahearnes were present in court. “I would like to apologise to the museum’s owner for the pain and inconvenience caused,” Stewart Ahearne stated.

I apologise to the people of Switzerland as a whole. Finally, I would like to apologise to my mother and Nicola, his partner.

” Louis Ahearne, his brother, continued, saying, “I would like to add my condolences to the museum, Swiss society, and my family for the stress I have put them through.

” Stewart Ahearne waved to his family and Louis Ahearne blew a kiss as the brothers were brought away.


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