Diamond heist sends ripples from Brussels to India

Business & Finance Featured India World - February 20th, 2013
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India will face a temporary shortage of rough diamonds following a heist at Brussels airport Tuesday, a senior Indian trade executive said Wednesday.

A consignment of rough diamonds worth around $50 million was apparently on its way to India when thieves, reportedly disguised as police officers, broke in to Brussels Airport and held up the plane onto which they were being loaded.

“The goods were on their way to India. People won’t lose money because they were insured, but there will be a temporary shortage of rough diamonds,” Sanjay Kothari, convenor of promotion and marketing at the state-backed Gem and Jewelry Export Promotion Council, told The Wall Street Journal.

India is the world’s biggest diamond-processing center and accounts for about 95% of the global trade in cut-and-polished diamonds. Around $200 million worth of rough-cut diamonds are said to pass through Antwerp daily. Police are still seeking leads as to the whereabouts of the criminals, who all escaped.