Robbers seize millions of dollars worth of diamonds at Brussels airport
February 19, 2013 – Armed robbers have stolen parcels of diamonds worth millions of dollars from the runway of Brussels Airport in one of the biggest heists the industry has seen.
Two vehicles carrying the robbers drove up to a van belonging to a security firm, which had just finished loading the diamonds into a Swiss passenger plane, on the evening of February 18.
The robbers escaped after a heist that lasted a few minutes. They are now being hunted by police.
The robbers took off with around US$ 50 million worth in diamonds, both rough and polished stones, according to a spokeswoman for the Antwerp World Diamond Centre.
“We do fear the damage for Antwerp, the world’s leading trade centre, is significant,” the spokeswoman 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 has been a leading diamond centre for centuries, with some eight in every 10 rough diamonds, and five in every 10 polished diamonds, traded there.