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Police detain Dutch diamond heist suspects

January 21, 2017

Dutch authorities have detained seven people over one of the world's biggest ever jewelry heists. Some 67 million euros worth of diamonds and jewels were snatched during a holdup at Amsterdam's airport 12 years ago.

Symbolbild Diamanten Diebstahl Raub Belgien Brüssel Flughafen Zaventem
Image: Fotolia/Stefan Gräf

Royal Marechausse police issued a statement Saturday saying five men and two women were detained Friday and Saturday on suspicion of money laundering and involvement in the armed robbery.

Armed robbers hijacked an armored car belonging to the airline KLM at a high-security area of Amsterdam's Schiphol airport on February 25, 2005. They made off with diamonds worth an estimated $72 million (67 million euros). Part of the haul was quickly recovered from the getaway car, but the police said diamonds worth $43 million remained missing.

It was one of the world's biggest ever heists. Nobody was physically hurt in the attack, even though the robbers were armed. A few months afterwards, five men were detained as suspects, but they were later released due to a lack of evidence.

Police said the seven suspects detained Friday and Saturday were all Dutch nationals. They were tracked down with the help of new information which had come to light in the past year. They were arrested in Amsterdam and the eastern Spanish coastal city of Valencia.

se/jm (AFP, AP, dpa)