Three Hong Kong men sentenced to prison for $637 million. Art Heist – ARTnews.com

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A Hong Kong court sentenced three men to two and a half years in prison for stealing a group of valuable stamps, coins and artifacts from a collector in 2020. When the heist took place, officials from Hong Kong called the robbery the biggest heist ever. take place in the city.

The group of objects was valued at $637 million, and many of the items that were taken have still not been recovered. The objects all belonged to collector Fu Chunxiao, who had kept them in his home in Hong Kong. Fu was in mainland China at the time of the robbery.

Among the most expensive items stolen was a nine-foot-long scroll containing a Politburo report that Mao Zedong wrote in calligraphy in 1929. Fu claimed he planned to donate the scroll to an institution before it was stolen.

According to the Hong Kong authorities, the thieves did not know the importance of this scroll, and they sold it for the equivalent of 25 dollars to an amateur buyer, who also did not know its true value and took it. cut in half for easier storage. .

Police have since recovered the scroll. Officials valued it at $300 million. Thousands of stamps and 10 bronze coins were also stolen during the robbery.

The three men who were sentenced to prison – Ho Yik-chiu, Ng Wing-lun and Hui Ping-kei – all pleaded guilty. During their trial, the lawyers allegedly presented evidence that they had previously attempted burglaries.

Addressing the South China Morning PostFu said he found their sentences “too lenient considering the value of the lost items”.

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