On the morning of February 15, 2003, the caretaker of the Antwerp Diamond Center went to open the building’s vault and made a horrible discovery. Instead of being locked up tight, the vault was wide open. The Diamond Center had been robbed and the thieves had made off with at least 130 million dollars in stolen gemstones. The true story of this amazing theft is told in Flawless: Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History.
Just who carried out this audacious robbery is not a mystery. Leonardo Notarbartolo, an Italian businessman and occasional jewel thief, is introduced in the first chapter. The story follows him as he conceives the robbery and recruits accomplices from a close knit group of professional thieves known as “The School of Turin.” The book provides intriguing insight into how high-level professional thieves operate in Europe as Notarbartolo and crew spend two years casing the Diamond Center and planning the robbery.
We also learn about the diamond industry in Belgium. The elaborate efforts that go into safeguarding gems include police protection, huge safes, complicated electronic security sensors and surveillance cameras. The clever way that Notarbartolo and his associates overcome all these obstacles and pull off the crime makes for engrossing reading. It’s like a real world version of the movie Ocean’s 11. The aftermath of the robbery is also covered including the international police investigation and the fatal mistake that led to the crew’s discovery.
The authors know their material. Scott Selby is an expert on diamonds and the jewel trade and Greg Campbell an award-winning journalist. The text is informative, clearly written and fast-paced. Flawless is a good choice for people who enjoy the non-violent side of true crime.
Check the WRL catalog for Flawless.