Million-dollar diamonds stolen from Basel watch fair

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Four diamonds worth millions were stolen on Wednesday from the world's biggest watch and jewellery fair in the northern Swiss city of Basel, the local prosecutor's office said.

"On Wednesday, 30 March 2011, at around 11.00 am (0900 GMT), one of the as yet still unidentified perpetrators distracted an employee of a diamond trader in the exhibition hall 3.0, and stole four diamonds worth millions from the display window," said Markus Melzl, spokesman of Basel's prosecutor's office.

After the robbery was detected, the exhibition hall was closed for half an hour to prevent the thieves from escaping, but to no avail.

"Apparently, the perpetrators successfully left the hall with the stolen goods," said Melzl in a statement.

Some 1,892 exhibitors from 45 countries, including luxury brands such as Chopard, Patek Philippe, and Rolex as well as jewellery makers like Bulgari and Tiffany, are showcasing their latest creations over 160,000 square metres at the Baselworld fair.

© 2011 AFP

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