Stolen diamonds found in sculpture

Dutch police uncovered a haul of stolen diamonds worth millions of dollars hidden in an outdoor sculpture in the Dutch town of Almere, police said on Tuesday.

The diamonds, which were stolen from an Amsterdam company in August, were discovered on Monday when an employee of the firm turned himself in to police after nearly a month in hiding, Reuters reported.

The theft was previously reported on the JCK Web site and JCK eMonday ( see related story).

Staff at Gassan Diamonds said the thief, a 26-year-old former army cook who had worked at the company since April, showed up for work in early August carrying a box he said contained a new microwave oven.

The next day, the company’s safe was found emptied of diamonds worth nearly 20 million guilders ($8 million).

Another man and a woman were also arrested in connection with the theft, police said in a statement.

“It’s fantastic, wonderful,” Benno Leeser, director of Gassan Diamonds, told Dutch television. “We’re a family company and this is just marvelous,” he said about the find, which was not insured for employee theft, Reuters reported.

Reuters reported that police said the diamonds, stashed in two cases found in the metal sculpture appeared to be the entire haul stolen.