Massive Brussels diamond heist was 'well prepared and professional'

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Massive Brussels diamond heist was 'well prepared and professional'

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Investigators continued to comb Brussels airport on Tuesday for possible evidence after armed robbers made off with a massive haul of uncut diamonds.

Estimates suggested the packages could be worth about 50 million euros, making the raid one of the biggest ever.

The diamonds were snatched as they were being loaded onto a Swiss-bound plane from a security van just before 8pm on Monday.

Police said eight men in two vehicles broke through a fence that surrounds the airport.

A spokeswoman for the Brussels prosecutor’s office Ine Van Wymersch told reporters: “The perpetrators were dressed in clothes that looked like police uniforms. They forced open the fence between two construction sites, they made a hole, then went on the tarmac and later escaped through the same hole in the fence.”

“They were well prepared,” Van Wymersch said. “There were passengers on the plane but they saw nothing of what was going on.”

Investigators said it was a professional heist that was all over in about five minutes. Although machine guns were pointed at security guards and air crew, no shots were fired and no-one was injured.

One of the vehicles was later found burnt out, just outside the Belgian capital.