Belgian prosecutors said on Wednesday (May 8, 2013) that police had detained 31 people over the heist of $50 million (£32 million) in diamonds in February - one of the biggest jewellery robberies in history - after coordinated raids in Belgium, France and Switzerland.

A spokesman for Brussels' prosecutor's office, Jean-Marc Meilleur, said around 250 policemen had been involved in the Belgian operation, which led to the detention of 24 of the 31 people arrested across Europe.

Meilleur said that one suspect had been held in France since Tuesday (May 7), while six men had been arrested in Switzerland.

Those figures differed slightly from the details provided by police in Geneva, who said they had questioned eight people after raids there and had subsequently released six of them, leaving two under investigation

Meilleur confirmed that diamonds had been seized in Switzerland, while cash and luxury cars had been recovered in Belgium.

Meanwhile, in Switzerland, police said they were investigating a businessman and a lawyer, while around 100,000 Swiss Francs in cash and a number of diamonds had been recovered.

Thieves dressed as police and armed with machine-guns stole 120 parcels of diamonds from the runway of Brussels airport on February 18, 2013 without firing a shot.

The eight-member gang cut through the airport fence and drove to the airport gate, with flashing lights on their vehicles, where unarmed staff members were loading the plane.

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