The men drove onto the tarmac on Monday night and stole around 50 million dollars in diamonds from the cargo hold of a Swiss-bound plane.
Police are looking for the four men, who made a hole in the security fence, which allowed them inside the facility, reports The Associated Press.
The armed men used two vehicles to pull of the heist. They stole the diamonds and drove off into the night in just minutes. Police discovered a burnt-out vehicle near the airport but are still looking for clues.
Airport spokesman Jan Van Der Crujsse explained that the robbers made a hole in the fence, drove up to the Swiss-bound passenger plane, and flashed their guns. They took the loot from the hold and drove off without firing a single shot.
Caroline De Wolf with the Antwerp World diamond Center estimated the diamonds’ worth at about 50 million dollars. De Wolf added:
“What we are talking about is obviously a gigantic sum.”
The BBC notes that the Brussels diamond heist is possibly “one of the biggest” ever. The diamonds were “rough stones” and were making their way from Antwerp to Zurich.
Van Der Crujsse wasn’t sure how the area was so vulnerable to theft. He added, “We abide by the most stringent rules.” The Swiss flight, operated by Helvetic Airways, was cancelled following the heist.
Insurance for air transport is relatively cheap because it is considered one of the safest ways to transport goods. While a car, truck, or train could be attacked by robbers en route to its destination, an airplane cannot be, unless the robbers hide on the plane and hijack it. Airports are also normally highly secured.
Officials are looking for eight men in connection with the massive Brussels diamond heist.
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