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Watches worth £2MILLION swapped for fakes

A COUPLE duped a jeweller out of £2million of watches by swapping them with plastic fakes.

The man and younger female accomplice posed as Swiss investors interested in buying high-value timepieces at a Hatton Garden store.

CCTV of a man suspected of duping a jeweller out of £2million of watches
CCTV of a man suspected of duping a jeweller out of £2million of watches
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is worth £200,000
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is worth £200,000
The Rolex Daytona 116506 is worth £140,000
The Rolex Daytona 116506 is worth £140,000

But they switched a bag containing nine exquisite watches for an identical one with the worthless bogus items inside.

The victim told The Sun: “He had a look at the watches and the paperwork which he said was fine.

“Then he swapped the bags. I don’t know how he did it. His hands must have been like a magician.”

CCTV obtained by The Sun shows the well-dressed pair pulling off the scam at the central London store, near the scene of the 2015 Hatton Garden safety deposit raid.

The haul, including three Richard Milles worth at least £400,000 each plus Audemars Piguet and Rolex valuables, is thought to be Britain’s biggest reported watches theft.

The well-prepared duo booked an appointment and arrived with the dummies in a large white envelope-shaped bag like the one used by the jeweller for presenting watches.

They left saying they were sorting a bank transfer but did not return.

The victim looked in the bag half an hour later and discovered the con.

He said: “They knew exactly what they were doing.”

He did not report it to police at the time as he received death threats but circulated the CCTV among other jewellers.

The real watches are feared to have been smuggled abroad.

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