The intense manhunt continues in Europe for the eight gunmen who pulled off one of the biggest diamond heists in recent memory on Tuesday. They stole some $50 million in jewels from a plane, minutes from takeoff at the Brussels airport.
The thing is, it sounds big -- $50 million -- but in diamond-speak, it isn't. Diamonds represent just about the most concentrated form of wealth there is. If you're a thief and your intention is to steal a lot of value in a small package, it's hard to do better than diamonds. The diamond industry has learned this lesson again.
Harry Levy, president of London Diamond Bourse, said, "The actual diamonds themselves would probably fit in a shoebox."
The diamond world is buzzing over the heist, but not shocked. Massive values of diamonds are assessed and shipped every day through Antwerp -- less than 30 miles from Brussels Airport -- the center of the world diamond market which handles about $200 million daily -- and it is a fortress.
I heard the diamonds were uncut, which would make them easier to fence.
Originally Posted by abe jr
If the famed helicopter robbery that happened here in Sweden a few years ago taught me anything, it's that heists of this scale usually involve a complex, multi-layered organisation potentially involving dozens of people.
Typically an insider (often someone looking to pay off a debt) would approach a "fixer" with information about a potential target, the fixer then relays this information to one or more planners who devise a suitable strategy while the fixer assembles a group of robbers to carry out the actual heist. The different parties will typically have no contact or knowledge of each other except through the fixer.
What these heists often fail on is that with such a large organisation there is bound to be a lot of people with known links to the criminal underworld involved, once word gets around that "Johnny just finished a big job" or "Danny's been throwing a lot of money around lately" it won't be long before that gets picked up by police informants.