A smash-and-grab robbery, worthy of the best James Bond plot, that was foiled by London police.

In November 2000, the Millennium Dome, that much maligned London Docklands white elephant that has cost its fair share of political scalps, was once again thrown into the glare of the media spotlight, when a smash-and-grab robbery, worthy of the best James Bond plot, was foiled by London police.

The plan, carefully orchestrated by local villains Lee Wenham, Raymond Betson and William Cockram, was to conduct a ram-raid on the De Beers diamond exhibition being held in the Dome at the time, and to make off in a speedboat, down the Thames, with a £350 million haul of diamonds on display. The Millennium Jewels collection included the Millennium Star, a 203-carat, flawless gem that is considered one of the most perfect in the world, as well as eleven other priceless blue diamonds. These jewels had played a central role in the spectacular laser light show that took place in the Dome during the Millennium festivities.