Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History
On February 15, 2003, a group of thieves broke into an allegedly airtight vault in the international diamond capital of Antwerp, Belgium and made off with over $108 million dollars worth of diamonds and other valuables. They did so without tripping an alarm or injuring a single guard in the process.
Although the crime was perfect, the getaway was not. The police zeroed in...more
In 2003, a group of Italian thieves broke into a secure vault in Antwerp's Diamond District, and stole what could be valued at $500 million in jewels, precious metals and cash. Author Scott Andrew Selby presents a work of narrative non-fiction, outlining the impressive details of the robbery and how law ...more
There's some good background here on the diamond industry, and the authors are pretty careful to make it clear in the text what they know for sure and what is con ...more
And they are so close to getting away with it when just a couple of bad coincidences tie them to the crime. An ...more
The largest diamond theft so far occured in Antwerp, Belgium in February 2003. Antwerp is the center of the international diamond trade, in the sense that mined diamonds, their price controlled by the de Beers monopoly, end up in Antwerp to be traded amongst the firms in the industry and also in the sense that much of the polishing, cutting, and quality grading of the diamonds occurs there. The target of the theft was the vault of the Diamond Center. The Diamond Center is a large office complex...more
The subtitle for the book pretty much sums up the topic: “Inside the Largest Diamond Heist In History.” The description from Amazon does a pretty good job of giving you an overview of the details so I don’t have to:
On February 15, 2003, a group of thieves broke into an allegedly airtight vault in the international diamond capital of Antwerp, Belgium and made off with over $108 million dollars worth of diamonds and other valuables. They did so without tripping an alarm or injuring ...more
This non-fiction account of the 2003 break-in at the Antwerp Diamond Center is a class act. In every area it is strong, has the best kind of reporting, and is arranged in the shape of a novel.
The robbers from Italy who came to be called "The School of Turin" spent two years on research and planning, the manufacture of assistive devices, and scrupulous observation and troubleshooting. As planned, there was no violence. It likely involved seven men, only four of whom were discovered. It also invol ...more
At one point the authors get to talking about how high end thieves view themselves. Not white collar criminals with computers but people who ...more
The first part of the book set up the crime: who the criminals were, what their personalities were like, and the previous crimes they'd committed. It also explained the technology the criminals had to overcome, and a bit about how diamonds are processed (from digging them from the ground to selling the finished stones in the Diamond District) and how they've been sto ...more
Although the book is well written, the most incredible thing about the heist is the lax security measures at the Diamond Center in Antwerp. The perpetrators use hair spray, duct tape, and a piece of styrofoam to bypass the multi-million dollar security. And then they foolishly throw the contents of the crime bags (which included small emeralds and currency) on the side of the highway! Two years of planning and that's the best they could come up ...more
It follows Leonardo Notarbartolo, who manages to rent an office at the Diamond Center in the Antwerp Diamond district and begins his surveillance of the building. He belongs to a group of criminals from Turin Italy, known as the School of Turin, and they follow a strict code of conduct. The per ...more