Baggage carts make their way past a Helvetic Airways aircraft from which the diamonds were stolen (Yves Logghe/AP).
YESTERDAY IT WAS reported that heavily armed robbers made off with over €37 million worth of diamonds in a massive heist at Brussels airport.
Officials are saying this heist will go down as ”one of the biggest” in history so here are just seven details from it that we think will definitely be included when it’s made into a movie.
1. A Brussels prosecutor’s office spokeswoman told The AP that eight masked men “tried to pass themselves off as police officers” by wearing outfits resembling dark police clothing and even armbands worn by airport police.
2. The robbers drove through an airport security fence in two black vehicles, a Mercedes van and Audi A8 (which are models typically used by Belgian security forces), that were outfitted with flashing blue police lights.
Two airport police officers use a chain to lock a gate which leads to the airport tarmac (Yves Logghe/AP).
3. The thieves forced their way through a hole in the fence, at a place where two work sites obstructed a clear view. Airport authorities said it must have taken more than simply blasting through the opening with a vehicle to get through.
4. The gang, armed with machine guns, drove straight up to the Zurich-bound Swiss passenger plane about 20 minutes before departure time, threatened to shoot the guards and the aircraft’s two pilots, then methodically broke into the hold on the outside plane where the diamonds were being held.
An armored truck of Brinks Diamond & Jewelry Services arrives at the cargo section of Brussels international airport (Yves Logghe/AP).
5. Brussels Airport spokesman Jan Van der Cruysse told Bloomberg the diamond thieves needed only three minutes at the plane and only 11 minutes total to seize 120 parcels, mostly containing diamonds but some also contained precious metals.
6. The robbers immediately left where they came in. Yesterday morning police found a burnt-out van — which they suspect was used by the robbers — not far from the airport.
7. A person familiar with the events told WSJ that the thieves appear to have had substantial help from insiders.
- Michael Kelley with additional reporting by Michelle Hennessy.