DIAMOND HEIST IN BRUSSELS 2 YEARS AGO HAVE POLICE NOW RAIDING SEVERAL HOMES & ARRESTING SUSPECTS

Brussels airport diamond heist: police launch fresh raids

WITH STORY BELGIUM DIAMOND HEIST - In this Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 file photo, baggage carts make their way past a Helvetic Airways aircraft from which about $50 million worth of diamonds were stolen on the tarmac of Brussels international airport. Belgian authorities are hoping they have made a major breakthrough in solving a two-year-old heist of some 40 million euros in diamonds and gems that were stolen in a brazen attack at Brussels international airport. During a series of raids early Monday, March 16, 2015, authorities made several arrests and were analyzing goods that could be linked to the Feb. 18, 2013 theft, which still ranks as one of the biggest diamond heists in recent memory. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe, File)

WITH STORY BELGIUM DIAMOND HEIST – In this Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 file photo, baggage carts make their way past a Helvetic Airways aircraft from which about $50 million worth of diamonds were stolen on the tarmac of Brussels international airport. Belgian authorities are hoping they have made a major breakthrough in solving a two-year-old heist of some 40 million euros in diamonds and gems that were stolen in a brazen attack at Brussels international airport. During a series of raids early Monday, March 16, 2015, authorities made several arrests and were analyzing goods that could be linked to the Feb. 18, 2013 theft, which still ranks as one of the biggest diamond heists in recent memory. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe, File) The Associated Press

16th March 2015,

Police carried out a series of house raids on 16 March in connection with the big diamond heist at Brussels national airport two years ago. Several people were detained and goods have been seized.It was on February 18 2013 that armed gangsters raided an aircraft that was about to leave and got away with 40 million euros’ worth of diamonds.Part of the booty has been recovered and several people have been identified as suspects. The rest of the booty remains missing and a number of suspects are still to be identified.Today’s raids focused on locations where diamonds can be stored temporarily after fresh evidence emerged.Hale Vilvoorde prosecutors are not commenting further as they prepare to examine the goods that were seized this morning.

Flandersnews.be / Expatica

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FURTHER INFO BELOW

BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgian authorities are hoping they have made a major breakthrough in solving a heist of diamonds and gems worth some 40 million euros ($42 million) at Brussels’ international airport two years ago.

After a series of raids early Monday, authorities briefly detained several suspects and were analyzing goods that could be linked to the brazen theft, which ranks as one of the biggest diamond heists in memory.

On Feb. 18, 2013, eight gunmen cut a fence around Brussels airport, drove onto the tarmac where an armored car was transferring the gems onto a Zurich-bound airplane and drove off again with the loot.

Even though 14 have already been charged for direct and indirect involvement in the case, over 30 million euros in gems are still missing, said an official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation.

Investigators first struck with a slew of detentions in Belgium, France and Switzerland during the spring of 2013 and seized cash, precious stones and luxury cars. But hopes that all the diamonds could quickly be recovered evaporated with time.

“It is a rather small part that has been recovered,” the official said.

But with the material seized Monday, investigators hope they have enough for “a big breakthrough.” Officials refused to say how many people had been detained but said they had to be released at the end of the day.

The theft quickly gained worldwide renown because of the bold plan of attack that some likened to a screenplay in the Ocean’s movie trilogy. With pinpoint precision, the thieves anticipated when an armored car from Antwerp’s famous diamond district would arrive at the airport.

The only weak point in its travel to Switzerland was the transfer onto the plane. So with black cars and blue police lights they cut onto the tarmac and in dark police clothing and toting machine guns they stopped the transport and loaded the diamonds into their cars.

They then made a high-speed getaway.

AND MORE INFO

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BELGIUM DIAMOND HEIST – In this Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 file photo, an armored truck of Brinks Diamond an Jewelry Services arrives at the cargo section of Brussels international airport. Belgian authorities are hoping they have made a major breakthrough in solving a two-year-old heist of some 40 million euros in diamonds and gems that were stolen in a brazen attack at Brussels international airport. During a series of raids early Monday, March 16, 2015, authorities made several arrests and were analyzing goods that could be linked to the Feb. 18, 2013 theft, which still ranks as one of the biggest diamond heists in recent memory. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe, File)The Associated Press

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 BELGIUM DIAMOND HEIST – In this Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 file photo, airport security officers stand near a fence [above] that was cut next to the tarmac, at Brussels international airport. Belgian authorities are hoping they have made a major breakthrough in solving a two-year-old heist of some 40 million euros in diamonds and gems that were stolen in a brazen attack at Brussels international airport. During a series of raids early Monday, March 16, 2015, authorities made several arrests and were analyzing goods that could be linked to the Feb. 18, 2013 theft, which still ranks as one of the biggest diamond heists in recent memory. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe, File)The Associated Press

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Henry Sapiecha

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