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Jewel thief Elizabeth Lipp and her lover, William Walter, plan to steal an emerald dagger from Istanbul's Topkapi Museum. Cedric Page, an eccentric British inventor; Giulio, a mute athlete; and Fischer, a strongman, are recruited. In Greece, the gang hires con man Arthur Simpson to drive a car over the border and meet them in Istanbul, but he is stopped by the Turkish police, who discover weapons hidden in the trunk. Major Tufan, one of the policemen, questions Simpson and then allows him to leave on the condition that he spy on the gang. At their villa headquarters, the gang plans the robbery: Fischer is to lower Giulio on a rope from a window near the museum's ceiling so that Giulio can steal the dagger while dangling above the sensitively wired floors of the museum. Geven, the drunken cook at the villa, believes the men are Russian spies and tells Simpson, who in turn passes the information on to Tufan. Later, Geven accidentally smashes Fischer's hands in a door, and Simpson is enlisted to take Fischer's place, although he has revealed his link to the police. The gang manages to elude Tufan, steal the dagger, and pass it to a Gypsy who will smuggle it out of Turkey. Flaunting their success, the gang goes to see Tufan, and Elizabeth explains that weapons were discovered in their car, but while they are in the major's office, a bird flies through an open window in the museum and lands on the floor, triggering the alarm. The entire gang is arrested, but the undaunted Elizabeth begins outlining her plans for their next job--the theft of the Romanoff jewels from the Kremlin.