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8 Robbers steal $50million worth of diamonds @ Belgium AIrport

February 20, 2013

Eight masked gunmen made a hole in a security fence at Brussels’ international airport, drove onto the tarmac and snatched some $50million (£32m) worth of diamonds from the hold of a Swiss-bound plane without firing a shot.

The gang used fake police cars in their daring raid late yesterday, grabbed the cache of stones and sped off into the darkness.

‘They tried to pass themselves off as police officers,’ said Anja Bijnens, spokeswoman for the Brussels prosecutor’s office.

They reportedly wore outfits which resembled dark police clothing and both cars had blue lights on top, she said.

Police found one burnt-out vehicle close to the airport later that night and said they were still looking for clues.

The heist was estimated at some $50million (£32m) in diamonds, said Caroline De Wolf of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre.

‘What we are talking about is obviously a gigantic sum,’ De Wolf said. It is thought the goods stolen belonged to diamond and gold traders in the Belgian city of Antwerp, the Belgian media reported.

An airport spokesman said the robbers made a hole in the perimeter fence and drove up to the Swiss passenger plane, which was ready to leave, at about 8pm.

The bandits then got out and pointed the infra-red sights of their assault rifles on terrified Brink’s security guards who were guarding an armoured van before taking the loot in two locked metal trunks from the hold.

Without firing a shot, they drove off through the same hole in the fence, completing the spectacular theft within barely five minutes, Bijnens said.

Airport spokesman Jan Van Der Cruijsse could not explain how the area could be so vulnerable to theft. ‘We abide by the most stringent rules,’ he said.

The Swiss flight, bound for Zurich and operated by Helvetic Airways, was canceled. Swiss, an affiliate of Germany’s Deutsche Lufthansa AG, declined to comment on the heist, citing the ongoing judicial investigation.

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