Dutch Police Recover Two Diamonds Stolen from TEFAF Maastricht

Authorities have recovered two diamonds stolen from TEFAF Maastricht in 2022 in a brazen daytime heist.

That year, in plain view of astounded visitors, several armed and disguised men absconded with jewelry worth tens of millions of dollars, spurring concerns over security at the fair, which is renowned for its luxe spread of art and antiquities.

The Netherlands Times reports that, in addition to the recovery of the two diamonds, at least one suspect, a woman, has been linked to the crime, though the five men who participated in the smash and grab remain at large.

One of the diamonds was located in Israel, while a second diamond from the same necklace was found in Hong Kong. Previous reporting pointed to a Balkan gang connected to the Pink Panthers, a notorious group of thieves. Police believe the TEFAF thieves hail from Nis, Serbia, and have offered a reward of €500,000 ($542,000) for information about the crime.

“Some of [the thieves] are also wanted for similar robberies in other European countries like Switzerland and the Czech Republic,” local police said in a statement. The police investigation has now linked a fifth suspect, a woman, to the robbery.

The men entered TEFAF Maastricht, the flagship of the international art fair, around 11:30 a.m. local time in June 2022. Video posted to social media appears to show a shocking scene in which the thieves were confronted by security officers while they smashed with a stanchion. The group reportedly exited the fair by going through the restaurant.

Day later, the Politie, the national police force of the Netherlands, arrested two men suspected of being involved in the robbery, however both were later released from custody and cleared of suspicion.

“We have taken major and important steps in the investigation,” the police said. “The international component of this investigation makes everything take a long time because we have to follow international procedures and regulations.”

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