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Diamond heist in Antwerp

Published on 12/03/2007

12 March 2007

BRUSSELS – Diamonds worth USD 28 million (more than EUR 21 million) were stolen in a heist in the Antwerp diamond quarter last week. The public prosecution department in the city announced this on Monday.

The court suspects that a long-term client was involved in the heist and is asking anyone who might have any information to step forward. The stones were stolen from the ABN Amro bank building on the Pelikaanstraat. A reward of EUR 2 million is offered for a tip that leads to an arrest, the public prosecution office said.

The authorities did not want to disclose who was offering the reward money.

The stones which were taken were used as collateral for credit from the bank. A picture of the suspect has been released; he is a man between 55 and 60 years of age who speaks English and claims to be an Argentine national.

He reportedly was the last to leave the building on Friday evening before the heist and was the first in on Monday morning. It is certain that he was not locked in over the weekend.

The authorities say that the man planned his move in the most minute detail over the past year and carried out the heist “extremely carefully and precisely.” Authorities are investigating whether he had help from the inside.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news