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The Untold Story of the World’s Biggest Diamond Heist (1)of 11 chapters-The whole saga revealed.

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Over half the world’s diamonds are traded in the Belgian city’s gem district, a maze of streets close to the train station. Diamond merchants in Antwerp have a combined annual turnover of $23 billion.
Rough diamonds arrive from all over the world and are placed in vaults as deals are done. As well as diamonds mined in South Africa, Australia and Russia there is also a thriving black market in so-called blood diamonds from Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Joris Van der Aa, a journalist with the Antwerp newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, said, – These guys never use violence. They are brilliant with keys and alarm systems and don’t need to resort to violence. It was the perfect crime. These guys are professionals. Most of them are quite old and they all have these nicknames. One is called the King of Thieves, another one is known as The Magician With The Keys.
One diamond dealer told BBC News Online, – There has never been such a robbery in the history of the trade in Antwerp and everybody was over-confident about security.

Writing in Wired, Joshua Davis presents a superb feature – the first person account of Leonardo Notarbartolo, who was convicted of robbing the Antwerp Diamond Center vault of $100 million worth of inventory.
12 March 2009, Joshua Davis, Wired
Leonardo Notarbartolo strolls into the prison visiting room trailing a guard as if the guy were his personal assistant. The other convicts in this eastern Belgian prison turn to look. Notarbartolo nods and smiles faintly, the laugh lines crinkling around his blue eyes. Though he’s an inmate and wears the requisite white prisoner jacket, Notarbartolo radiates a sunny Italian charm. A silver Rolex peeks out from under his cuff, and a vertical strip of white soul patch drops down from his lower lip like an exclamation mark.
In February 2003, Notarbartolo was arrested for heading a ring of Italian thieves. They were accused of breaking into a vault two floors beneath the Antwerp Diamond Center and making off with at least $100 million worth of loose diamonds, gold, jewelry, and other spoils. The vault was thought to be impenetrable. It was protected by 10 layers of security, including infrared heat detectors, Doppler radar, a magnetic field, a seismic sensor, and a lock with 100 million possible combinations. The robbery was called the heist of the century, and even now the police can’t explain exactly how it was done.
The loot was never found, but based on circumstantial evidence, Notarbartolo was sentenced to 10 years. He has always denied having anything to do with the crime and has refused to discuss his case with journalists, preferring to remain silent for the past six years.
Until now.
Notarbartolo sits down across from me at one of the visiting room’s two dozen small rectangular tables. He has an intimidating reputation. The Italian anti-Mafia police contend he is tied to the Sicilian mob, that his cousin was tapped to be the next capo dei capi – the head of the entire organization. Notarbartolo intends to set the record straight. He puts his hands on the table. He has had six years to think about what he is about to say.
– I may be a thief and a liar, – he says in beguiling Italian-accented French. – But I am going to tell you a true story.….More

TNS Diamonds and Watches Inc.

Sourced from robber mag & published by Henry Sapiecha

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