Diamonds “worth several million dollars” were stolen at BaselWorld last week, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The online newspaper reported that two thieves distracted a stand operator in Hall 3 while their three accomplices broke into a display and stole four diamonds “worth several million dollars”.
“The theft was discovered 10 minutes later by the stall holder … (and) the hall was immediately shut off and visitors prevented from leaving for 30 minutes while a search was launched for the diamonds.”
Despite the theft, BaselWorld 2011 is being hailed as “a spectacular highlight” by the show’s organisers.
“This year’s BaselWorld will go down in history as a spectacular highlight..
“A total of 1892 watch and jewellery producers and representatives of the supplier industry, from no fewer than 45 nations, have showcased their exclusive world innovations and sophisticated collections in Basel.
“In addition the influx of visitors has to be described as overwhelming this year: 103,200 visitors from more than 100 countries marked the second-best result of all times for BaselWorld and an increase of 2.5 percent over the previous year.
Jacques Duchêne, president of the Exhibitors’ Committee agreed the Show was a big success.
“We can speak of an excellent year,” he said.
“We, as exhibitors, are very satisfied and have achieved highly gratifying sales. The expectations for this year’s BaselWorld were exceptionally high – precisely after two particularly positive months at the start of the year. And they were certainly fulfilled. Given the current global political developments, however, we will be treating this pleasing and optimistic result with caution.”
BaselWorld 2012 will be held from from March 8 to 15.