Brussels--Sixteen men and three women will stand trial in connection with the $50 million diamond heist pulled off on the runway of the Brussels Airport back in 2013, Belgium’s national news agency, Belga, reported last Thursday.

Belga said that nine of the suspects will go on trial for being directly involved in the robbery while the remaining 10 face charges related to hiding the stolen diamonds. With the exception of one individual, all those charged live in Belgium.

Six of the suspects also face money laundering charges in Belgium, Switzerland and Morocco.

Belga said that prosecutors did not give a date for the trial.

A brash heist that ranks among the biggest diamond thefts in history, the robbery took place after two vehicles carrying eight masked men who were armed with machine guns and dressed like police officers burst through a perimeter fence at the airport.

The vehicles pulled up to a Brinks van that had just finished loading diamonds onto a Swiss passenger plane bound for Zurich. In a matter of minutes and without firing a single shot, the suspects took 120 parcels of rough and polished diamonds off the plane.

At the time the heist took place, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre called the $50 million job a “significant” robbery for the city, which is one of the world’s main diamond trading hubs.

Following the heist, police arrested more than 30 suspects in multiple countries, including four in May 2014 and 31 in May 2013.

Belga reported that in November, a Swiss court handed down two-year suspended sentences and fines in the case to an estate agent and his lawyer for handling stolen goods.


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