KLM errors 'led to diamond heist'
2 March 2005, AMSTERDAM — KLM made grave errors in guarding the transport of diamonds stolen in a spectacular armed heist last week and is trying to shift responsibility, it was reported on Wednesday.
2 March 2005
AMSTERDAM — KLM made grave errors in guarding the transport of diamonds stolen in a spectacular armed heist last week and is trying to shift responsibility, it was reported on Wednesday.
Newspaper De Volkskrant reported on Wednesday that reliable sources claim that poor security measures at the Schiphol Airport freight terminal led to last Friday's EUR 75 million theft. The sources claim KLM is trying to cover up the exact circumstances of the incident.
The airline's claims that KLM security officers could not intercept the stolen truck because it suspected employees might have been kidnapped has been dismissed as an "excuse". Otherwise, KLM said it could have switched off the fuel lines of the hijacked bus.
But it was immediately clear that security officers were being confronted with a robbery and not a kidnapping, De Volkskrant said.
What is clear so far is that the truck was not an armoured van, contradicting an earlier KLM statement. And it appears that the fuel-stop system allowing KLM to block the truck's fuel supply did not work.
The drivers of the KLM truck were not trained security officers, the diamonds were not packed in special material making it more difficult for robbers to take them and the gang managed to obtain a KLM car in the secured area of the Amsterdam airport because the keys had been left in the ignition.
Using the cover of the KLM car, the three of four robbers drove up to the cargo terminal and forced staff at gunpoint to lie on the ground while they escaped in the truck. They exited the secured area by riding through the boom gates immediately behind another truck.
Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner told MPs on Tuesday that security measures had been tightened at Schiphol in response to the theft.
These measures include assigning extra military police officers to surveillance and money transports being accompanied by armed military guards. KLM security staff had previously only guarded transports.
Donner also said the validity of staff entrance cards can be shortened and the use of biometric details will be studied. Screening of staff by the security service AIVD will be intensified.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news