International jewel thief found guilty of murdering two men
Gonzalo Andreas Gomez-Remolina stabbed the men in a fight over stolen goods
Jurors at the Old Bailey were told that with his dying breath, Mr Ayala identified his killers, telling his mother it was ‘Los Rolos’ Photograph: iStock
An international jewel thief has been found guilty of stabbing two men to death over £35,000 worth of stolen watches and a set of Napoleonic coins.
Gonzalo Andreas Gomez-Remolina (36) killed Carlos Ayala and his friend Ruben Fuente in a row over the spoils from an earlier burglary.
The haul had included two Cartier watches, two diamond-encrusted Franck Muller watches and eight coins, said to be worth their weight in gold.
On the evening of June 5th, 2007, Mr Ayala (28) was ambushed by the defendant and his brother Christian in the entrance to his flat in Clapham, south London.
Colombian Mr Ayala was stabbed 30 times in the brutal revenge attack by the Bogota-born brothers, known as Los Rolos.
Spaniard Mr Fuente (30) who was in the “wrong place at the wrong time”, was stabbed eight times as he attempted to escape.
With his dying breath Mr Ayala – nicknamed El Frances – identified his killers, telling his mother it was “Los Rolos”, jurors at the Old Bailey were told.
Afterwards, the brothers fled with their girlfriends on a Eurostar service to Paris, the court heard.
Christian Gomez-Remolina was tracked down with his pregnant partner and a large amount of stolen jewellery in Spain.
He killed himself at Highdown prison in July 2008 while awaiting trial in Britain.
His brother was extradited from Mexico in January and stood trial alone on two charges of murder.
Prosecutor Brian O’Neill QC had told the jury: “The defendant and his brother were involved in committing high-end burglaries and Ayala had participated in at least one of them.
“Ayala, however, appears to have fallen out with the defendant and his brother over dividing the spoils. And there had been an escalating dispute between them.”
In the weeks since they arrived in Britain from Japan, the brothers had got to know Mr Ayala as they scoped high-end targets.
A month before the killings, they were stopped in London’s Hatton Garden jewellery district in a car containing a stash of burglars’ tools.
Christian Gomez-Remolina also had a Spanish phrase book and on the inside cover was written a “shopping list of high-value Cartier watches”.
The brothers went on to cruise around the Swiss Cottage area with Mr Ayala looking for homes of rich people to burgle, the court heard.
They all fell out over the proceeds of a burglary, with Mr Ayala unhappy about his share.
The row escalated when he got some friends to break into the brothers’ flat.
The Colombians were beaten up, their girlfriends were tied up and watches and cash was stolen.
The Gomez-Remolinas retaliated by trying to run over Mr Ayala and Mr Fuente in a car park.
Giving evidence, the defendant said he had gone to meet Mr Ayala to exchange eight Napoleonic gold coins for the stolen watches.
He denied being involved in the killings, saying he had fled the scene after Mr Ayala produced a knife.
Gomez-Remolina said his brother had confessed to the killings the next day as they fled on the Eurostar. – PA