Armed robbers stole a ‘gigantic’ haul of diamonds from Brussels Airport today.
The diamonds, estimated to be worth over £30 million were taken by men who had disguised themselves as police and then broken into the cargo of a plane bound for Switzerland.
Caroline De Wolf of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, said: “What we are talking about is obviously a gigantic sum.”
Antwerp is the centre of the world’s diamond trade and around £130 million worth of precious gems passes through the city every day.
One of De Wolf’s colleagues at the AWDC was quoted as calling the robbery one of the biggest ever.
The police have revealed they are looking for eight men.
The robbers allegedly used two vehicles with police markings to break through security barriers at the airport, before forcing open the hold to take some of the shipment of ‘rough stones’.
Despite being armed, the thieves did not discharge their weapons and no-one was injured.
The main worry, other than the loss of the diamonds, is the blow this will have to Antwerp’s reputation as a secure trade hub.
Mrs De Wolf said: “This is causing quite some unrest.
“It was incredible how easily it all went.
It is worrying in terms of competitiveness, since other diamond centres are ready to take over our position.”
Police are appealing for witnesses and are reviewing security details of the incident.