Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland
Advertisement

Diamonds swiped in daring Basel raid

Share this article

Diamonds swiped in daring Basel raid
Baselworld (Library)
08:25 CEST+02:00

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

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

"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.

The spokesman told AFP that the theft involved "probably four to five accomplices."

"Three diverted the attention of the diamond trader's employees, while two others opened the showcase," he said.

The thieves are believed to have checked out the display showcase several days before the theft, allowing them to make a quick move.

Melzl noted that the Israeli trader, who was not identified, only realised the theft about 15 minutes after it was carried out, allowing sufficient time for the perpetrators to get away.

"It was carried out in a very professional manner," he added.  

Police are examining closed-circuit camera footage and looking into possible DNA traces and fingerprints.

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 until Thursday.

The fair, which is open to the public, has been the targeted by thieves on several occasions. In 2009, a robber stole 13 million francs (€10 million euros) of jewellery, but was rapidly caught.

In 2007, thieves made away with more than a million francs worth of jewellery.

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

Advertisement

From our sponsors

The Swedish university tackling the challenges of tomorrow

Ranked among the world's best young universities in the QS Top 50 Under 50, Linköping University (LiU) uses innovative learning techniques that prepare its students to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Jobs
Click here to start your job search
Advertisement
Advertisement

Popular articles

Advertisement
Advertisement