Five people arrested over alleged Posh Spice kidnap plot

Tuesday, November 5, 2002

LONDON -- Five men arrested on suspicion of plotting to kidnap Spice Girl Victoria Beckham were charged Monday with theft and conspiracy to rob Sotheby's auction house, police said.

Scotland Yard said inquiries were continuing into the alleged plan to kidnap Victoria Beckham, known in the band as Posh Spice and the wife of England soccer captain David Beckham. They reportedly planned to seek a ransom of about $7.7 million.

A total of seven men and two women were arrested late Saturday and early Sunday after the News of the World informed police that its reporters had discovered the kidnap plot. One of the women arrested was released without being charged while two men and a woman were released on bail on unrelated charges.

Kosovo-born Azem Krifsha, 30; London-born Joseph Rivas, 24; and Rusu Sorin, 31, originally from Romania, were charged with theft of a jeweled turban worth $93,000 belonging to Sotheby's.

Two other Romanian men -- Adrian Razvan Pasareanu, 28, and Alin Turcu, 18 -- were charged with conspiracy to rob an employee of Sotheby's.

The five, all from London, appeared at Horseferry Road Magistrates Court and were ordered held in custody until their next court appearance Nov. 11.

The tabloid said its reporters had infiltrated a gang of Romanian and Albanian kidnappers who planned to ambush the singer in front of her home north of London and use a chemical spray to sedate her and her sons, Brooklyn and Romeo, if necessary.

David Beckham, who plays for England's national soccer team and Manchester United, is one of Britain's biggest sports stars and the Beckhams are among the country's most popular celebrities.

The newspaper quoted Victoria Beckham as saying she was stunned by the allegations.

"It's clear these people were serious and that, of course, has scared the life out of me. ... I'm in absolute and total shock."

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