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Brussels Airport Hold-up Nets Diamonds

  • February 20th, 2013
  • Posted by EUEditor

brussels-airport.jpgThieves who stuck up a plane on the tarmac at Brussels and stole a consignment of diamonds on Tuesday generated a startling spin-off for the famed diamond industry operating through Antwerp.

The value of the haul was put at €37-million (A$47.9-million;, 20.2.13) by industry sources; some early estimates had it at nearly ten times that amount.

brussels-airport-heist.jpgThe masked band of four (some say more), in two vans, burst through a security barrier and drove up to the Swiss aircraft loading for a flight to Zurich.

Wearing police outfits and carrying automatic weapons, in five minutes they got a large part of a consignment of polished and uncut diamonds – and drove off the way they had come.

Officials said passengers in the aircraft did not see what was going on.

eu-berlaymont.jpgnato-flags.jpgBrussels airport, though far from one of the grand hubs of Europe, handles very strategic traffic; being the entreport for the headquarters of both the European Union and for the NATO alliance, both literally “just down the road”.

The police there, after mending the fence, might be asking who knew the diamonds would be on the plane.


BBC, London, “Brussels diamond robbery nets ‘gigantic’ haul”, 19.2.13., (20.2.13).

Helvetic Airways, Zurich, Home., (20.2.13).

Reuters, London, “Robbers seize gems worth 350 million euros at Brussels Airport”, 19.2.13., (20.2.13).