$50 Million in Diamonds Stolen at Brussels Airport

$50 million worth of diamonds were stolen during an airport heist in Brussels. Photo Credit: AP

$50 million worth of diamonds were stolen from a jet in Brussels this week on Feb. 18th in what can only be described as a very Ocean’s 11-esque crime.  The eight thieves stole the diamonds on the airport’s runway before they could be lifted onto the cargo of the jet.  The crime took less than five minutes to complete.

“It is impossible to say what the thieves will do,” said Caroline De Wolf.  De Wolf is the spokeswoman for the Antwerp World Diamond Centre and is the the heist’s victim. “In any case, rough or polished, (both types were taken) it is virtually impossible to trace the stolen diamonds.”

Harry Levy, London Diamond Bourse’s president, commented that the rough diamonds will be easy to sell and are impossible to trace.  He also explained that although the polished stones would be easier to trace, the thieves can have the polished diamonds re-cut to change their carat weight and/or size.

“There are so many stones in the system you really have to be looking out for a stolen stone,” said Levy. “A large outlet will have to devote at least one member to look at every stone that comes in — and hundreds of stones are coming in every day.”

Moving the stones quickly is to the thieves’ advantage, but they may only receive 20% to 30% of their value.

Luckily no one was injured during the heist.  Not a shot was fired, and the culprits cut a hole in the airport fence, which they also used for their escape.  The crooks used two vehicles that featured blue lights on top, which made them appear to be police vehicles.  It is suspected that this was an inside job.

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