The group penetrated airport security and drove two trucks across the airport tarmac to a plane transporting the diamonds, the Agence France-Presse reports. Once they reached the Swiss plane, the robbers displayed their guns and took the diamonds from the hold of the plane. They exited through the same hole in the fence through which they entered.
The trucks the robbers used and their clothing were made up to appear as if they were police officers, prosecutors said at a press conference. While brandishing weapons, the thieves did not fire them, and no one was hurt. The passengers on the plane did not observe the theft as it was happening.
The total value of the gemstones is estimated at $50 million. Diamonds and other small and valuable cargo are often transported by air because air transport is considered more secure than other ways of moving items. Airport security is believed to provide the best protection for such goods, reports USA TODAY.