Eight men pulled off a heist of $50 million in diamonds from a Switzerland-bound aircraft stationed at Brussels’ international airport, authorities said.
The robbers, wearing masks and armed with guns, used two vehicles in Monday night’s raid, according to Anja Bijnens, a spokeswoman for the Brussels prosecutor’s office.
The thieves drove away and a burn-out car was later located near the flashpoint of the crime.
The thieves initially cut a hole in a fence at the airport and waved at the Helvetic Airways plane that was about to leave before emptying the hold of the aircraft, according to airport spokesman Jan Van Der Crujsse, adding no shots were fired in the incident.
“What we are talking about,” Antwerp World diamond Centre’s Caroline De Wolf told the VRT network, “is obviously a gigantic sum.”
The flight was canceled afterwards.