Purged diamond in police hands
The Chinese national arrested for swallowing a diamond believed to be worth Rs. 1.8m at a Colombo exhibition had the precious stone purged out yesterday, three days after admission to the National Hospital, a spokesperson said.
On recovering the diamond the suspect was transferred to the Prisons’ Hospital at Welikada, Prisons Commissioner General W.P. Kodippili said.
An officer at the Crimes Division of the Cinnamon Gardens Police, which is investigating the incident, said the recovered item was now in the custody of the police and investigations were continuing to determine whether it was a real diamond or a fake.
The suspect had claimed he had swallowed a fake diamond.
The officer said the other Chinese national who aided the suspect was still at large.The incident occurred when two Chinese nationals arrived at the Belgrade International Gem stall, on the opening day of FACET 2012 gem and jewellery exhibition at the BMICH, and asked the owner Suresh de Silva to take a closer look at a diamond.
While one of the men appeared to be inspecting the stone, the other tried to distract Mr. de Silva. It was then that his wife noticed that the man who was inspecting the diamond trying to replace it with another and alerted her husband.
At that moment the man swallowed one of the two diamonds while the other fled the scene. The 32-year-old suspect was arrested by the BMICH police.
Gem and Jewellery Authority Chairman Prasadh Dalhene said, “Theft is prevalent in every industry. The gem and jewellery industry is more vulnerable because it holds small items of great value and dealers as well as thieves are aware of that. It is due to the superior security system at the BMICH that the thief was caught.”
Nearly 100 gem dealers from Sri Lanka and abroad took part at this year’s event which ended yesterday, amidst tight security following Wednesday’s incident.
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