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Dome Diamond Raid
Plan of area
  • Estimates as to the value of the diamonds vary between 200m and 350m
  • Owned by De Beers, the Millennium Star is two inches long and took three years to cut
  • In the diamond community it is seen as a masterpiece on a par with the Mona Lisa
Police outside the Dome
Police sealed off the area surrounding the Dome
Diamond raid begins

More than a 100 police officers, many of them armed, were already in position as four men smashed a modified JCB digger through the Dome's perimeter fencing.

They had given themselves five minutes to steal the 12 diamonds and make good their escape across the Thames with the help of a waiting speedboat.

At 9.30 am on 7 November 2000 the giant earth mover entered the Dome proper via the nearest entrance to the Money Zone, the home of the Millennium Jewels exhibition.

With the raid in progress so early in the morning the police outnumbered the 60 or so visitors present, none of whom were near the Money Zone itself.

After tracking the gang for months detectives had taken every precaution.

Armed police, some disguised as cleaners, their weapons concealed in bin liners, had the gang encircled. The nearby Tube station had been closed down, and more police were stationed on the river itself.

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