Brussels Diamond Heist: 31 Arrested in Sweep Seeking $50M in Jewels

Image: Brussels Diamond Heist: 31 Arrested in Sweep Seeking $50M in Jewels Prosecutor spokespersons Jean-Marc Meilleur, right, and Anja Bijnens address the media in Brussels, May 8, 2013, concerning the 31 people detained in connection with a $50 million diamond heist at Brussels Airport.

Wednesday, 08 May 2013 11:59 AM

By Newsmax Wires

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More than 30 have been detained in connection to a February heist of $50 million in diamonds across Europe – one of the biggest jewelry robberies in history – after officials raided locations in Belgium, France, and Switzerland on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

More than 300 police were involved in the Belgian operations, near Brussels, which led to 24 people being detained, a spokesman for the Brussels prosecutor said. One suspect was held in France and five others in Switzerland.

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Robbers dressed as police and armed with machineguns stole 120 parcels of diamonds from the runway of Brussels airport without firing a shot. The suspect detained in France was believed to be a member of the gang of eight who carried out the heist.

"It's the only person that we can say at this stage they could have participated in the events on the tarmac," said Jean-Marc Meilleur, the prosecutor's spokesman.

Police in Geneva said they had questioned eight people after raids there and had subsequently released six of them, leaving two under investigation. Those figures differed slightly from the details provided by Belgian authorities.

A businessman and a lawyer were seized in Geneva along with 100,000 Swiss Francs ($106,200) in cash and a number of diamonds were recovered, police said. Meanwhile, in Belgium, the raids recovered cash and luxury cars, the prosecutor's spokesman said.

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