Expatica news

Four jailed for diamondstudded Italian job

20 May 2005

BRUSSELS – Four Italians have been jailed for a diamond raid in Antwerp that was dubbed “the heist of the century”.

On Thursday, a Belgian court sentenced the four to five-to-10 years in prison for stealing more than EUR 100 million in jewels.

The Italians broke into the Diamond Centre at Antwerp on the weekend of 15 and 16 February 2003, emptying dozens of high-security vaults in an unprecedented operation.

Although the four were arrested just a week after the heist, the diamonds have never been recovered.

Leonardo Notabartolo, the mastermind behind the robbery, planned it by starting a diamond trading front company which let him analyse the security system at the centre.

He was jailed for 10 years and fined EUR 1million.

His partners in crime, Ferdinando Finotto, Elio D’Onorio and Pietro Tavano were each given five-year jail terms and fines of EUR 5,000.

The Italians were also ordered to pay EUR 4.5 million in damages to several civil plaintiffs.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news