Diamond replica presented to London police for catching thieves

The De Beers Diamond Trading Company presenting London’s police headquarters on Thursday with a replica of the world’s most valuable diamond to commemorate the day the Flying Squad foiled the spectacular Millennium Dome heist, Reuters reported.

“The replica Millennium Star will act as a lasting reminder of one of our most successful operations,” Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens reportedly said. “Their efforts to pull off one of the largest robberies in the world in broad daylight were utterly audacious and worthy of a James Bond film plot.”

The replica diamond, now being given a permanent home in New Scotland Yard’s Crime Museum, was substituted for the real gem ahead of the attempted robbery, Reuters reported.

The gang tried to steal diamonds worth $306 million from the Dome, escape along the River Thames in a speedboat and smuggle them out of the country into the hands of the Russian mafia.

Among the stones they hoped to steal was the Millennium Star, at 777 carats one of the world’s largest gems.

The robbers may have been inspired by the Bond film “The World is Not Enough,” which featured a speedboat chase to the Dome—showpiece of Britain’s year 2000 celebrations—a in the opening sequence.

But the audacious plan was foiled by police who had switched the real diamonds for fakes and was lying in wait for the robbers.

In February, the gang was sentenced to a total of 71 years in prison.