An alleged fraudster was arrested in Brazil after highly valuable artworks were discovered by the authorities under his bed.
Gabriel Nicolau Traslaviña Hafliger, whose home is in Rio de Janeiro, was raided by the police this week.
“He was one of three criminals involved in a deceptive scheme to extort funds and steal arts from the elderly art collector who happened to be the widow of a famed arts dealer,” stated the police.
According to the police, the whole scheme was orchestrated by the widow’s own daughter who was also apprehended by Brazilian police officers.
“The criminals had been hired by the widow’s child to pretend to be spiritual workers who were going to exercise their craft on the elderly woman so as to bring her good tidings,” stated the police.
The paintings had been declared missing by the police with one particular which was priced at Sh6.9 billion having been stolen from the house of a widow who was an art collector.
The expensive art work was looted from the lady’s house and replaced with a fake one.
Gabriel’s mother too was arrested during the raid for her role in the scheme; she had approached the victim and introduced herself as the priestess of the religious group.
The victim, Geneviève Rose Marie Coll Boghici, was allegedly attacked, deprived of food and threatened with a knife when she discovered that the act had been orchestrated by her daughter, Sabine Boghici, who had attempted to sell some of the works to a São Paulo-based gallery.
The victim’s daughter and the three suspects have been arrested for embezzlement, extortion, false imprisonment and criminal association, and arrest warrants have been issued for two other individuals.
In addition to stolen cash, several pieces of jewelry including three Rolex watches valued at around Sh143 million were missing.
Two of the stolen art works had allegedly been sold to a museum in Argentina.