Today’s post is something that would seem a scenario taken directly out of a movie. This past Tuesday, it is believed that a group of professional criminals pulled off a once in lifetime multi-million dollar diamond heist that took place last Monday night at Brussels Airport.
According to sources, two vans carrying eight men burst through a fence surrounding the airport’s perimeter and drove up to a Brinks van, which has just finished loading diamonds onto a Swiss passenger flight bound for Zurich.
The men, who reportedly were dressed as police and armed with machine guns, then stole 120 parcels of rough and polished diamonds. The Antwerp World Diamond Center (AWDC) valued the diamonds at $50 million, though some Belgian news reports have it as high as $467 million.
Although there were no shots fired during the armed robbery, which took less than five minutes. The men, who were described as “well prepared” for the heist, then escaped. Prosecutors told sources that they could not yet comment on who owned the diamonds.
In a statement issued Tuesday, by AWDC spokeswoman Caroline De Wolf said the Antwerp community was shocked by the brutal heist given the highly secured nature of the city as a diamond hub.
“We find it hard to understand how a robbery such as yesterday’s heist could take place. We are currently awaiting the results of the investigation but we do fear the damage for Antwerp, the world’s leading trade center, is significant,” she said. “We choose to transport goods via airplane, precisely because of the safe and controlled nature of this means of transportation. We do hope additional security measures can be put in place in order to safeguard a fluent and safe transport of diamonds.”
Antwerp remains one of the world’s leading hubs for the import and export of polished diamonds. Figures released last month by the AWDC place the city’s export value for both rough and polished stones in 2012 at $26.7 billion. Imports totaled $25.2 billion.
Live, Life, Lamour,