Europe

Amsterdam diamond theft: Seven arrested

Schiphol International Airport in Amsterdam (July 2000)
Image caption Staff at he Dutch national carrier KLM were threatened in the 2005 raid

Five men and two women have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in a €75m ($80m, £64m) diamond heist in 2005 at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, police in the Netherlands say.

The seven Dutch nationals were arrested in Amsterdam and Valencia in Spain.

The armed gang, disguised as airport workers, stole the diamonds as they were about to be put onto a plane.

Some of the diamonds were recovered from a getaway car but stones worth an estimated €40m are still missing.

Correspondents say the theft was one of the world's biggest ever jewellery heists.

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Image copyright EPA
Image caption Some of those detained were arrested in the eastern Spanish city of Valencia

The diamonds and other jewellery were stolen in a high security area of the airport after the thieves forced their way into a KLM armoured car.

The seven were detained in raids on Friday and Saturday on suspicion of robbery and money laundering.

The gems were about to be flown to Antwerp, Europe's diamond capital, when the robbers struck.

World's biggest jewellery heists

February 2003 - Robbers took jewels then worth €100m (now $140m; £91m) from the Antwerp Diamond Centre in Belgium

February 2005 - An armed gang hijacked a lorry carrying €75m ($100m; £65m) of diamonds and other jewels at Amsterdam airport

December 2008 - Three men stole almost every piece on display at a Paris jewellery exhibition by Harry Winston, totalling €85m ($113m; £73m)

August 2009 - Criminals staged a raid worth €46m ($61m; £40m) on Graff Diamonds in London

July 2013 - An armed man stole jewels worth about €40m ($53m; £34m) from a hotel jewellery exhibition in the French Riviera resort of Cannes

April 2015 - Thieves steal an estimated €16m ($;17m; £14m) of gold bullion, diamonds, jewellery and cash from London's Hatton Garden area

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