Category Archives: Zurich

$50 Million in Diamonds Stolen From Plane Preparing For Take Off

a pile of diamonds on a grey surface
image found in google search

While working out at the gym late Wednesday afternoon I overheard a crazy story. 

A couple of guys were talking and I overheard something about a huge diamond heist at an airport. The guy telling the story mentioned that $50 million in diamonds was stolen in less than 11 minutes. He also said that the thieves cut a hole in the airplane to get into the cargo area.

I didn’t hear a lot of details about the heist or know how much of the story was accurate (or even true). I actually had no clue as to what airport it supposedly happened at. 

When I got home I had to do a search online to find out more about this crazy story.
I typed in diamond heist and lots of results came up right away.
The heist took place at Brussels International Airport (BRU) in Belgium. The plane was getting ready to fly to Switzerland and the thieves pulled off the heist just 18 minutes before takeoff.

The thieves cut a hole through an airport perimeter fence to get access to the tarmac. 
Eight men, driving in two trucks with flashing blue lights pulled up to the Helvetic Airways plane. The thieves were wearing police uniforms and had automatic weapons. 

According to the NY Times:

They calmly ordered  ground staff workers and the pilot, who was outside the plane making a final inspection, to back off and began unloading scores of gem-filled packets from the cargo hold. Without firing a shot, they sped off into the night…

While the robbery was taking place, the passengers on board had no clue as to what was going on outside. They found out when they were asked to disembark due to their flight being cancelled.

When I first heard about this story, I figured that if it was true, it had to be an inside job. In the articles I’ve read, the same sentiments are stated.

This whole situation made me wonder one thing- How safe and secure are airports really? If thieves can cut a whole in a fence, drive onto the tarmac and steal $50 million in diamonds, what’s to stop terrorists from doing a similar thing and then hijacking an airplane?