The police raided the Glasgow office of HBJ Gateley Wareing yesterday (4 October) for a £30m stolen Leonardo da Vinci painting and arrested one of the firm’s partners.
Glasgow-based corporate partner Calum Jones was taken away by Dumfries and Galloway Police along with three men from Lancashire.
The police moved to intercept a meeting at HBJ’s offices regarding the return of the Madonna with the Yarnwinder to the UK. The 20in x 14in painting was also seized from the office.
In the UK’s biggest art theft, the painting was stolen from Drumlanrig Castle, the South West Scotland home of the late Duke of Buccleuch, in August 2003. Two men posing as tourists stole the painting from its wall mountings after overpowering a female guide. The Duke, who died last month, reportedly received an insurance payout in the region of £3m for the painting.
It has been reported that Jones was checking that the repatriation of the painting, which was taken overseas following the theft, was valid in Scots law.
In addition to Dumfries and Galloway Police, Strathclyde Police, the Serious and Organised Crime Agency and the Scottish Crime and Drugs Enforcement Agency took part in the raid.
The men are expected to appear at Dumfries Sheriff Court this morning.
A spokeswoman for HBJ Gateley Wareing declined to comment.