#1 HARRY WINSTON – $108 MILLION
In December 2008, four armed men dressed in wigs and women’s clothing robbed the Paris store. They stole over $108 million in jewelry, which caused the company’s stock to fall 9%.
#2 CENTRAL BANK OF IRAQ – $1 BILLION
Before Coalition forces began bombing Iraq in 2003, Saddam Hussein had his song Qusay to make a withdrawal of around $1 billion in $100 bills. Around $650 million was later found by US troops hidden in the walls of one of Saddam’s palaces, but $350 million remained missing.
#3 ANTWERP DIAMOND CENTER – $100 MILLION
Since 80% of the world’s uncut diamonds go through Antwerp, Belgium. Professional thief, Leonardo Notarbartolo, already scoped out Antwerp Diamond Center’s vault for years. He and his accomplices managed to get past ten layers of security. Notarbartolo was eventually caught but the $100 million in gems still hasn’t been recovered.
#4 KNIGHTSBRIDGE SAFE DEPOSIT ROBBERY – $98 MILLION
In 1987, Valerio Viccei, who had enjoyed a successful career in armed robbery, infiltrated the Knightsbridge Safe Deposit Centre and pilfered the boxes. He and his accomplices left with over around $98 million worth of money and jewels. They fled to Latin America. Viccei’s accomplices were caught there. However, it wasn’t until Viccei tried to retrieve his Ferrari in England where he was captured and sentenced to 22 years in prison.
#5 CITY BONDS ROBBERY – $400 MILLION
In May 1990, a 58 year old messenger named John Goddard was mugged while carrying a briefcase containing around 292 million pounds in bearer bonds. Whoever holds those bonds were considered the owners. Those bills were as good as cash. However, the FBI was able to infiltrate the gang and find out who was behind the mugging. All but two of the bonds were recovered.
#6 BAGHDAD BANK ROBBERY – $282 MILLION
In July 2007, employees of Dar Es Salaam bank in Baghdad showed up to work to find the vault open and all of its contents gone. It’s believed the three bank guard made off with $282 million!
#7 AGRICULTURAL BANK OF CHINA ROBBERY – $7 MILLION
This was quite an ingenious plan. China saw its largest robbery in 2007 when the Agricultural Bank’s messenger Ren Xiaofeng stole 200,000 yuan to buy lottery tickets. He was able to win enough money and return it before it went missing. However, the next year he used anothe messenger to get around $7 million dollars but lost most of it to losing lottery tickets.
#8 DUNBAR ARMORED HEIST – $18.9 MILLION
This was an inside job gone bad. Allen Pace was a regional safety inspector who ended up making off with $18.9 million in chase in a U-Haul truck after enlisting his friends for the gig. However, apiece of the truck’s tail light led the police to the suspects, and Pace was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
#9 SUMITOMO MITSUI HACK $423 MILLION
In 2004, hackers broke into the system of Sumitomo Mitsui, a Japanese bank, and attempted to transfer approximately 423 million to ten different accounts around the world. The bank was luckily because they noticed repeat behavior after implementing a program in October of the same year that noticed the transactions.
#10 BANK OF IRELAND HEIST – $9 MILLION
In 2009, seven robbers believed to be gangsters from inner-city northern Dublin got away with $9 million in under 15 minutes. It led to a big manhunt in Ireland to find the criminals.
#11 BOSTON MUSEUM THEFT – $300 MILLION
March 1990 saw what most consider the biggest art heist in history. Two phony officers convinced two security guards at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston that they were responding to a disturbance. They took advantage of the situation by handcuffing the security guards in the basement after being let inside. In the subsequent 81 minutes, the two men left with 12 pieces of art with a combined value of over $300 million at the time of the theft. However, they were amateurs leaving behind more valuable pieces and damaged the items they stole.
#12 SCHIPHOL AIRPORT HEIST – $118 MILLION
In February 2005, Amsterdam saw history’s largest diamond heist yet — with the stolen gems estimated at a value of $118 million.
#13 BRITISH BANK OF THE MIDDLE EAST – $70 MILLION
In 1976, a terrorist group associated with the Palestine Liberation Organization made off with over 25 million pounds worth of gold, jewels, stocks, as well as $50 million worth of currency from the British Bank of the Middle East. They plundered the vault over a course of two days.
#14 TREASURE OF BENGHAZI – PRICELESS
It has been reported that the “Treasure of Benghazi” heist occurred sometime before July 2011. The thieves were able to drill a through the ceiling to a vault underground. Here’s where they looted over seven thousand ancient coins made of gold, silver, and bronze. It’s considered the most valuable heist in history due to the priceless treasures stolen.
#15 BANCO CENTRAL HEIST – $70 MILLION
The Banco Central burglary of 2005 is one of the biggest bank heists in history. It took a small gang tunneled three months of digging to break into the vault and leave with around $70 million.