Three detained over $1 bln German jewel heist

Three people have been detained in police raids across Berlin, over a jewel heist reportedly worth over $1 billion, according to local authorities.

Thieves forced their way into Dresden's Green Vault Museum in November last year, taking off with at least three sets of early 18th century jewelry, including diamonds and rubies.

The police force said officers searched 18 apartments, garages, and vehicles for the jewelry and other evidence including digital data, clothes, and tools.

Over 1,600 police are said to have taken part in the raids, and it may cause serious traffic disruptions across the city.

Germany's Bild newspaper reported that the stolen jewels were worth up to $1.19 billion.

One of its best known treasures - the 41-carat Dresden "Green Diamond" - was away on loan at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art at the time of the break-in.

The treasures of the Green Vault survived Allied bombing raids in World War Two, only to be carted off as war booty by the Soviet Union.

They were returned to Dresden in 1958.