A multi-million gold heist took place in Curaçao on Friday, where armed men dressed as police boarded a fishing boat in the southern Caribbean island and stole around 70 gold bars worth an estimated £7.2 million.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the boat's captain was struck in the head in the early-morning assault before the thieves made off with the gold in three cars, police spokesman Reggie Huggins said.
No suspects are in custody but authorities believe there were six men involved.
The captain and three crew members were from Guyana in South America.
Huggins did not say who owned the boat or where the gold had come from.
The fishing boat, named Summer Bliss, seems an unlikely place to stash a huge amount of gold, with its rust streaks on the white cabin and no visible security.
Crew member Raymond Emmanuel told The Associated Press that they left Guyana four days ago and arrived early on Friday in Curaçao.
He said they were delivering the gold to a company in Curaçao but did not know the name of the business.
The captain was meeting with authorities on the island and was not immediately available.
Emmanuel said the gold was locked away when the thieves boarded the vessel and 'took everything.'
He said neither he nor anyone else on the boat was armed.
'This is normal,' he said. 'We never carry arms. Since I started working here, I've transported gold once before, and this is the system.'
Executive secretary of the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association, Colin Sparman, said legal shipments are usually made by air under heavy security and that gold smuggling was common to avoid taxes and royalty payments on the precious metal.
Curaçao is located north of Venezuela and is known as a tourist destination, particularly popular with divers.
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