Associated Security News
Three Heists to Remember
7th October 2022
Heists that remain unsolved are among the most fascinating mysteries in history. The documentary This is a Robbery: the World’s Biggest Art Heist became a worldwide phenomenon in 2021. As a result of the Netflix hit, countless pieces of art valued at £417,742,500 ($500 million) were lost to the Garner Museum scandal. Why is this event still making headlines 31 years after it occurred?
In addition to entertaining cinematic viewers, unsolved heists serve as a reminder for business owners and managers to safeguard their brands against theft. Take essential measures, such as installing fireproof safes and implementing cyber security measures, to protect your assets.
Heist at Belfast Bank (2004)
The first heist on our list is the notorious Belfast Bank Robbery, which is the biggest unsolved heist in the history of the UK and Europe. On a seemingly normal Sunday night, two police officers broke into the homes of two bank officials and took their families hostage. The employees helped the criminals access the Northern Bank’s high-security vaults out of concern for their loved ones. And an astonishing amount of money was stolen, valued at a total of £43,339,210 ($53 million) today.
In spite of the lack of evidence and witnesses who were able to claim they weren’t involved, one of the victims has since been convicted for orchestrating this money laundering scandal.
Heist enthusiasts continue to be captivated by the Belfast Bank Robbery. BBC aired Heist: The Northern Bank Robbery in 2021, documenting the scandal 13 years later. Using uncovered 999 police calls and bank CCTV, it explores new theories.
Diamond heist at Antwerp (2003)
The next famous heist is that of the Antwerp Diamonds. Diamond-exchange capital of the world, the Antwerp Diamond Centre, is the number one target of an organised criminal group called ‘The School of Turin’.
A vault protected by multiple layers of security was broken into by the gang in 2004. They expertly tricked magnetic sensors with aluminium, including, but not limited to, magnets. There are still over £83,624,000 ($100 million) worth of diamonds missing, according to police officials.
The notorious ringleader was convicted for his involvement in the Antwerp heist just when you thought it couldn’t get any more titillating. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with some of the other members of ‘The School of Turin’ receiving five years. The identities of other members and the whereabouts of the stolen diamonds remain unknown to this day.
Heist at Banco Central (2005)
One of the most notorious scandals in history is the Banco Central heist, the most notorious scandal of all time. The Guinness Book of World Records once recognized it as the biggest bank robbery in history. How did they accomplish this?
In 2005, a group of professional criminals founded their own landscaping company. This guise enabled them to dig a 256-foot tunnel beneath the ground, leading all the way to Banco Central. As a result, they were able to steal £59,396,470 ($71.6 million) from the vault floor.
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