CRIME

UC Professor Greg Newbold UC Professor Greg Newbold CREDIT: University of Canterbury

Brussels heist similar to Great Train Robbery, UC criminologist says

Wednesday 20 February 2013, 2:56PM
By University of Canterbury
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The Brussels airport diamond heist is similar to England’s Great Train Robbery of 1963, University of Canterbury (UC) criminologist Professor Greg Newbold said today.

Robbers dressed as police and armed with machineguns yesterday stole 120 parcels of diamonds worth about $nz60 million from the runway of Brussels Airport.

Two vehicles carrying eight men drove up to a van belonging to security firm Brinks, which had just finished loading the diamonds into a Swiss passenger plane. The raid took less than five minutes. Police are hunting for the robbers.

UC Professor Greg Newbold said the raid looked like being a one-off event carried out by a group of highly organised and sophisticated criminals.

``It is somewhat reminiscent of England’s Great Train Robbery where 128 bags of cash worth over two million pounds were stolen from a train near London.

``In both cases, a degree of inside information would have been necessary to plan and carry out the robberies. As with the Great Train Robbery, police will focus on who knew what as they try to unravel the mystery of how security systems were breached or subverted.

``Because events such as this are isolated, it probably won’t impact much on ordinary citizens but will undoubtedly lead to a review of international security and intelligence procedures,’’ Professor Newbold said.