One smart thief has been able to evade the world’s most expensive hi-tech security system by simply using a box of chocolates. He has been able to walk off with over 21 million Euros worth of diamonds in Belgium, but just using a trick as old of time: personal charm.
Most likely to go down as one of the biggest robberies committed by just one person, the conman was able to burgle a safety box in Antwerp’s diamond quarter. It is thought he was able to steal gems that weighed over 120,000 carats. The elderly thief masqueraded as a successful businessman and visited the bank regularly. In 2007, he used his charm to befriend the staff and was able to win their confidence. One official even advised that he gained their trust by bringing them some boxes of chocolates.
And now the bank staff are left wondering how they ever let a man with a fake Argentine passport have access to their vaults. He had been a regular customer at the establishment for over a year and gave the name of Carlos Hector Flomenbaum from Argentina. The authorities have nearly zero leads and even offered a 2 million euro reward to any information that would lead to his arrest – but that went nowhere. This thief has never been spotted again and the passport he was using had actually been stolen in Israel a couple of years beforehand.
You see the key part of the plot was due to what happens on a daily basis in Antwerp’s diamond district, the banks have to accommodate clients that need to store diamonds overnight but need to withdraw them during the day. Which means some special customers are given access to the vaults for this purpose.
A scenario that goes to show even the world’s best security systems will be defeated by human error. The thief was able to use his charm to get the keys to the vaults and even get information about where the diamonds were stored. And then it was a simple matter of copying the keys and walking out with the precious gems.