Belgium says 31 detained in $50m diamond heist

May 8, 2013 - by - 0 Comments

May 8, 2013 Associated Press

BRUSSELS  — Authorities claimed a major breakthrough on Wednesday in their investigation of a spectacular $50 million diamond heist, detaining at least 31 people in a three-nation sweep some three months after robbers pulled off the theft with clockwork precision at Brussels Airport

A Frenchman who is believed to have been one of the actual robbers at the airport was arrested in France, while six to eight people were detained in Geneva, and 24 in and around Brussels. Police did not indicate what the other suspects' roles might have been.

What's more, police say they have proof that diamonds found in Switzerland were part of the cache that was spirited away in the brazen Feb. 18 robbery that ranks among the biggest diamond heists of recent times.

After two months of investigation on some of the suspects, police moved in. Suspects in France and Switzerland were detained on Tuesday, and the following day Belgian police carried out a massive operation, with 250 police involved in 40 house searches.

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