£2.5m Ming vase found in London after theft in Switzerland

A 15th century Ming vase worth around £2.5 million and thought to have been stolen from a collection in Switzerland has been found by police in London.

The antique, described as “a one-off”, is believed to have been taken in a burglary by an organised crime group based in the capital in June last year.

Two men, aged 44 and 42, were arrested in Mayfair, west London, in connection with the theft of the vase, which dates back to the Chinese Ming Dynasty.

Metropolitan Police Detective Chief Inspector Jimi Tele said: “This is a significant step forward in what remains a complex investigation into a high-value burglary.

“Whilst this vase is valued at around £2.5 million, it is a one-off and unique and therefore has immeasurable cultural value. It will be repatriated in due course.

“The organised crime group at the centre of this investigation is also suspected of involvement in serious violence, so to arrest two suspected members safely is excellent.

“Bearing down on serious crime and violence remains the Met’s top priority, and we will continue to disrupt the workings of organised crime whose members think they are out of reach of the law.”

The two suspects were held on suspicion of handling stolen goods and released on police bail until mid-November.

Counterfeit currency, class A drugs and two suspected Tasers were found in a search of an address in Charlton, south-east London, as part of the investigation.

Detectives are working with the Swiss authorities to investigate the burglary.

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