Swallowed Diamond From Gem Show is Fake, Accomplice Sought by Police
Police in Sri Lanka are still searching for a diamond that was stolen from a jewelry exhibit after the one recovered turned out to be fake.
Police arrested Chou Wan, 32, after officials at the Facets Sri Lanka, an annual jewelry show in the capital city of Colombo, saw two men examining a 1.5 carat diamond at the jewelry show last week.
Wan was taken to a local hospital under police custody and was given laxatives to expedite the passing of the stone. Police then asked representatives from the National Gem and Jewelry Authority, which regulates the precious stone industry, to analyze the diamond.
Police spokesman Ajith Rohana revealed that the representatives told police the diamond Chou swallowed was fake and was worthless. Investigators are now focusing on the man who accompanied Wan and then fled once officials alerted police. The stone is valued at $1.8 million Sri Lankan rupees or just under $14,000 USD.
Local reports indicated that Wan asked one of the workers at the exhibit to closely examine the 1.5-carat diamond on the opening day of the jewelry exhibition.
"He came with another Chinese man. One of them tried to distract me while the other had a diamond in his hand," Suresh de Silva, director of the Belgrade International gem store, told AFP. "When I realized what was happening and shouted, one ran away and we managed to catch the man who swallowed the stone."
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Doctors did warn Wan that if the stone did not pass, he would have to undergo surgery to remove it.
"The man's life could be in danger if the pointed end of the diamond tears his guts. We have already informed courts about this. For the man's own safety, he will have to undergo surgery," Rohana told AFP he added.
Facets Sri Lanka is the country's largest annual gem and jewelry exhibition, attracting both local and foreign buyers.