Police in Europe rounded up 31 people in three countries on Wednesday and recovered most of the $50 million in diamonds stolen from the Brussels Airport earlier this year, proving once again that most daring and outlandish crimes are the hardest to get away with.
It took less than five minutes for a group of armed men to clean out a cargo plane parked at the airport in Belgium back on February, and the thieves stunned authorities with their speed and precision. But in an equally impressive display of detective work, just three months later the whole operation and all of their accomplices are now behind bars.
The Belgian prosecutor's office says they arrested 24 people in Belgium who are connected the heist, plus six more in Switzerland and one in France, and all within the last day. They also "recovered big amounts of cash," though they wouldn't specify exactly how much of the money and diamonds they were able to secure. Given the shorten time frame between the robbery and the arrests, however, its unlikely they could have unloaded all of their loot on the black market.
Much like the gangsters who stole $100 million from the Antwerp Diamond Center in 2003, it may take time, but sooner or later you're going to get caught. It seems the criminals forgot Hans Gruber's number one rule of multi-million dollar theft—"they will find you, unless they think you're already dead."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.