A DUTCH fugitive wanted for the notorious 2005 Schiphol airport heist that made off with €70 million worth of diamonds has been arrested in Ibiza.
Identified as Errol HV, 59, he was the mastermind behind the largest heist in Dutch history, most of which has not been recovered nearly 20 years later.
He is believed to have been hiding out on the Balearic island for a while before Spanish police became aware of his whereabouts.
The Policia Nacional tracked him down behind the wheel of a car and dramatically ran him off the road, according to reports in the Dutch media.
His arrest on Tuesday morning was confirmed by the Netherlands’ Public Prosecution Service, who will seek his extradition.
The Dutch Supreme Court had only put out an arrest warrant for Errol in October last year.
The gang of robbers seemed to have gotten away with it, until five men and two women were arrested in Amsterdam and Valencia in 2017.
The court convicted four men, acquitted two, while another died.
Errol was sentenced to seven years in prison, but in 2020 he appealed, and was released from jail while he awaited the decision.
Errol was finally sentenced in 2021 to 9.5 years in prison for the spectacular theft, but by this time he was nowhere to be found, having only served three years.
At the time, the theft he had orchestrated was considered one of the most incredible, skilful – and egregious – criminal heists in modern history, which caused near-social unrest in Holland.
Disguised as KLM Cargo employees, the robbers gained access to the secure freight area without arousing suspicion.
They used a stolen KLM van, which allowed them to blend in with the legitimate airport operations.
Once inside the secure area, the thieves intercepted a shipment of diamonds that was being transferred from a vault to a waiting aircraft.
The diamonds were intended for transport to Antwerp, a global diamond trading hub.
The robbers managed to seize the diamonds and escape in the stolen vehicle, all within a remarkably short timeframe and without causing any injuries.
Most of the loot has never been recovered, meaning the robbers were able to hide the diamonds for all these years or have already sold them on the black market without the authorities’ knowledge.
The heist ranks as one of the greatest of all time, narrowly coming behind Harry Winston Paris’ jewellery exhibition, in which three men stole almost every piece on display worth €85 million in 2008.
Perhaps Errol was inspired by 2003’s €100 million diamond heist from the Antwerp Diamond Centre in Belgium.