Tefaf Maastricht was evacuated this morning after several men, at least one of whom was reportedly armed, attempted to rob a jewellery stand.
Two images circulating on Twitter show two vitrines were damaged on the stand, thought to be that of London dealer Symbolic & Chase, though it is not clear whether anything was taken. In another video, one man is shown smashing a glass cabinet with a mallet while two other men ward off other dealers and visitors. One appears to be holding a gun.
In a statement, Tefaf says: "At approximately 11.30am, Tefaf Maastricht was evacuated due to an incident within the fair. Dutch police were on site within minutes. Nobody was injured during the incident."
According to the statement, the fair’s "stringent safety procedures" were followed and all visitors were successfully evacuated. A spokesperson for Tefaf adds: “Tefaf has robust procedures in the event of a security breach. These were precisely followed, and all visitors, exhibitors and staff were safely evacuated. The fair has now reopened. Tefaf and the MECC are now working with the authorities—no further statement will be made.”
A statement by Limberg Police says that two men—a 22-year-old and a 26-year-old man, both from Belgium—were arrested shortly after the robbery. They were driving a grey vehicle with a Belgian number plate when they were pulled over on the A2 in front of the Willem Alexandertunnel.
"Their possible involvement is still under investigation," while "other suspects are still being looked into", according to the statement. The police confirmed that jewellery had been stolen and that forensic investigations have been carried out at the scene of the crime.
One dealer on the ground says the situation was “extremely well-handled”. They add: “Most clients won’t even have realised it occurred. The thieves were apprehended quickly by the police and no injuries incurred.”
Update: According to a Tefaf spokesperson, the fair’s security teams did not "work quickly to disarm an offender", as per the original statement