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Multimillion-dollar diamond heist in Brussels

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 19, 2013 at 8:41 a.m.

two-airport-police-officers-use-a-chain-to-lock-a-gate-which-leads-to-the-airport-tarmac-at-brussels-international-airport-tuesday-feb-19-2013-eight-masked-gunmen-made-a-hole-in-a-security-fence-at-brussels-international-airport-drove-onto-the-tarmac-and-snatched-some-50-million-worth-of-diamonds-from-the-hold-of-a-swiss-bound-plane-without-firing-a-shot-authorities-said-tuesday

Two airport police officers use a chain to lock a gate which leads to the airport tarmac, at Brussels international airport, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. Eight masked gunmen made a hole in a security fence at Brussels' international airport, drove onto the tarmac and snatched some $50 million worth of diamonds from the hold of a Swiss-bound plane without firing a shot, authorities said Tuesday.

Multimillion-dollar diamond heist in Brussels

Authorities in Belgium say eight masked gunmen snatched some $50 million worth of diamonds from the hold of a Swiss-bound plane without firing a shot late Feb. 18, 2013. (By The Associated Press)
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— Eight masked gunmen forced their way through the security fence at Brussels’ international airport, drove onto the tarmac and snatched some $50 million worth of diamonds from the hold of a Swiss-bound plane without firing a shot.

The gang responsible for one of the biggest diamond heists in recent years used two black vehicles with a flashing blue police lights in their raid late Monday, said Anja Bijnens, spokesman for the Brussels prosecutor’s office.

“They tried to pass themselves off as police officers,” Bijnens said Tuesday. The robbers, who wore outfits resembling dark police clothing, got away with 120 parcels, mostly containing diamonds but some also holding precious metals.

Police said they found a burnt-out minivan believed to be involved in the robbery near the airport later Monday night.

The heist was estimated at some $50 million in diamonds, said Caroline De Wolf of the Antwerp World Diamond Center. ‘’What we are talking about is obviously a gigantic sum,” De Wolf said.

The robbers forced their way through a perimeter fence, at a place where two work sites obstructed a clear view, Bijnens said. There were no details about how the hole was opened, but airport authorities said it must have taken more than simply blasting through it with a vehicle.

The robbers drove up to the Swiss passenger plane some 20 minutes before departure time, brandishing their machine guns. Then they methodically broke into the hold, which was accessed from outside, to choose their loot.

Passengers were unable to see the drama beneath them, said Bijnens.

The robbers finished their clinical operation with a high-speed departure through the same hole in the fence, completing the spectacular theft within barely five minutes, Bijnens said.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

Comments on: Multimillion-dollar diamond heist in Brussels

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Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 total comments

Jackabbott says... February 19, 2013 at 8:59 a.m.

So much for airport security.

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HisAngel says... February 19, 2013 at 3:37 p.m.

Jackabbott - now that's funny! I wasn't expecting the humor.

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RoyDaMercer says... February 19, 2013 at 4:02 p.m.

Second coming of Goodfellas; now watch as various dudes get whacked while Eric Clapton is playing Layla in the background

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HotSpringsLawyer says... February 19, 2013 at 4:16 p.m.

Were they wearing hoodies?

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RoyDaMercer says... February 19, 2013 at 6:01 p.m.

Hoodies in Brussels? Nope, hoodies have become very expensive due to sales in LR that have caused demand to outstrip supply 5 to 1. The next step is dudes in hoodies robbing stores of their hoodies.

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DontDrinkDatKoolAid says... February 19, 2013 at 6:54 p.m.

Does Obama have an alibi?

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