Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Diamonds worth '£32m' stolen in raid on Brussels airport

Baggage carts make their way past a Helvetic Airways aircraft from which millions of dollars worth of diamonds were stolen at Brussels airport (AP)

Armed robbers reportedly stole diamonds worth an estimated £32m during a daring raid in Belgium yesterday, it has emerged.

The raid, which is thought to have involved up to eight men, took place on the tarmac at Brussels international airport. The diamonds were taken from the hold of a Switzerland-bound plane.

The men are currently being hunted by police.

Brussels prosecutor's spokeswoman Anja Bijnens said the armed and masked men crashed through the airport's perimeter fence with two cars yesterday.

Within minutes they made their way to the plane, took the cache of precious stones and drove off into the darkness. Police found a burned-out van close to the airport later last night but said they were still looking for clues.

According to local media the thieves are reported to have broken through a fence at Brussel's main airport with two vehicles at around 7:47pm local time.

In a statement the airport said: "The men in the car rode to a Swiss airplane where they stole valuable goods," it said.

"There was no shooting, and no one got injured. This lasted only a few minutes, and after that, they left the airport domain through the damaged fence."

The robbers struck as the diamonds were being loaded onto a plane bound for Zurich.

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