Police on Tuesday were looking for eight men who made a hole in a security fence of Brussels' international airport, drove onto the tarmac and robbed tens of millions of dollars worth of diamonds from the hold of a Swiss-bound plane.
Brussels prosecutor's spokeswoman Anja Bijnens said Tuesday the armed and masked men used two vehicles in their daring Monday raid and within minutes made their way to the plane, took the cache of stones and drove off into the darkness.
Police found a burnt-out vehicle close to the airport later Monday night but said it was still looking for clues.
The heist was estimated at some 50 million dollars in diamonds, said Caroline De Wolf of the Antwerp World diamond Centre.
"What we are talking about is obviously a gigantic sum," De Wolf told VRT network.
An airport spokesman says the robbers made a hole in the perimeter fence, and drove right up to the Swiss passenger plane that was ready to leave. The robbers got out of the car, flashed their arms and took the loot from the hold, airport spokesman Jan Van Der Crujsse said. Without firing a shot they drove off through the same hole in the fence, completing the spectacular theft within minutes, he said.