Guilty: Several convicted in €65 million diamond heist
Several men were convicted on Monday in connection with a 65 million euro diamond heist at Schiphol Airport in 2005. The highest prison sentence handed down was a seven-year term, even though gemstones worth about 40 million euros were never recovered.
The diamonds were swiped on Feb. 25, 2005, by the armed crew just before they were loaded onto an aircraft, according to the prosecutor. "Four Schiphol employees, who simply did their jobs, were threatened by men with firearms and balaclavas. The employees feared for their lives," the Prosecutor said in a statement.
A company car was stolen on the day of the crime by those involved, who were also wearing the uniforms of airport personnel.
A court in Haarlem announced its verdict against the alleged getaway driver, Errol H.V., 54. He was also accused of participating in planning the crime. Marlon D., 44, thought to be sitting in the van H.V. at the time of the crime, was given six years in prison. Erik P., 54, was convicted of attempting to rob the Schiphol facility two weeks earlier with H.V. The failed attempt, when a company vehicle was also stolen, netted P. 3.5 years behind bars.
Five more years were handed to Ramazan N., 44, who worked at the airport on behalf of KLM. He provided observations and intelligence to the gang, according to the prosecutor.
Another KLM worker was acquitted in the robbery, but was given three months in prison and a further three months suspended for money laundering. A sixth person was accused of being a matchmaker between the Schiphol workers and the thieves. That suspect was acquitted of charges related to the robbery, but convicted and sentenced to two months in prison for weapons possession.
A seventh person believed to be heavily involved in the whole scheme, August B., died recently, according to the prosecutor.