Undercover officers used to track down suspects in 2005 Schiphol diamond heist
The seven suspects arrested in January in connection with a diamond heist at Schiphol in 2005, were arrested after a years-long undercover operation by the judiciary, Het Parool reports based on information from sources. The seven suspects are in court for the first time on Wednesday.
Tens of millions of euros worth of jewelry was stolen in the heist, which was one of the largest robberies in the history of the Netherlands. The robbers managed to force their way into a heavily secured part of Schiphol. They threatened the airline personnel of a flight heading to Antwerp with weapons, stole some 70 million euros worth of diamonds, and escaped using a KLM armored car.
A number of suspects were arrested soon after the robbery, but were released a short time later due to lack of evidence. According to Het Parool, that was when the judiciary launched a long-term undercover operation to get information about the heist through the suspects' contacts. The undercover officers did not make contact with prime suspects August B. and Erik P., but with their followers. According to the newspaper, the undercover cops tried to prompt discussions about the heist by telling the suspects that journalists were working on a story about it. It is not clear whether this worked.