The great diamond heist in…Brussels

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Robbers got away with a shipment of diamonds worth more than 50 million dollars when they raided an airplane on the runway at Brussels Airport on Monday 18 February. 

Shortly before 8pm two vehicles with eight heavily armed gangsters punctured a hole in the fence around the airport. They travelled four per vehicle. Each vehicle was equipped with flashing police lights.

The vehicles made their way to a Swiss passenger plane where the security firm Brink’s had just loaded a valuable shipment of diamonds.

The whole incident only took a few minutes. No shots were fired. Nobody was injured.The gangsters were dressed as police officers and intimidated several people during the heist.

Guns were trained on the pilot, the co-pilot and a security guard. The gangsters were equipped with machine guns, but no shots were fired. None of the passengers were injured.

The gangsters proceeded to break open the doors leading to the hold. They stole at least 120 parcels. The stolen goods included a shipment of diamonds. Police are as yet refusing to put a value on this shipment.

The raid lasted no longer than 5 minutes. Prosecutors speak of a well-prepared and professional heist.

A van that may have been used in the heist was recovered in Zellik (Flemish Brabant) in the course of the evening. Detectives are now examining the vehicle that was completely gutted by fire to determine whether it was used in the robbery and whether the robbers switched to a different vehicle in Zellik.

The stolen diamonds originated in Antwerp. Antwerp diamond sources value the shipment at 50 million dollars.

The Swiss airline has not yet responded to the robbery. It says that the police investigation is underway and that the company will await the outcome of the investigation before commenting.