A diamond heist at a Brussels airport has netted a gang around $47 million in gems. The raid took around three minutes to carry out and not a single shot was fired.
Diamonds were being loaded on a Swiss plane as the gang of thieves struck. They cut a hole in the security fence before driving two vehicles, a Mercedes van and a car, within close range of the plane. A Brinks security van was loading safes full of diamonds onto the plane. The raid was swift and carried out by eight masked men, carrying guns and dressed in police uniforms. The robbery happened around 8 p.m. local time Monday, but reports are only now being released.
Three minutes to net one of the biggest hauls ever, without a single shot fired. Amazing.
The haul's estimated worth is anything from $47 to $50 million. The heist involved Brute diamonds believed to have hailed from Antwerp.
Police report that the gang waved their weapons, quickly grabbed the gems and drove off into the darkness. A police manhunt is underway in Brussels.
Late Monday, police found a burned-out vehicle close to the airport which forensics have been working on. The plane involved was a Swiss flight, operated by Helvetic Airways. This airways is an affiliate of Germany's Deutsche Lufthansa AG.
Airport spokesperson Jan Van Der Crujsse could not explain the vulnerability of the cargo. He insisted that the airport has "stringent security measures" in place.
Insurance for transporting precious goods by plane is reportedly relatively cheap. This is because it is widely believed to be one of the safest means of transport. That may now change.
The skill of the raid could mean that the heist was an inside job. It could have involved former or current employees of the airline, the diamond company, the security firm or the airport. One thing is certain: the gang was well rehearsed, knew exactly what to do, and more importantly knew that a valuable cargo of diamonds was at the airport.
Was it an inside job? Time will tell.
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