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'Diamond swallow' in Sri Lanka was a bluff: Police

Published on Sep 11, 2012 5:22 PM

COLOMBO (AFP) - A Chinese man accused of swallowing a diamond worth US$13,600 (S$16,600) at a gem show in Sri Lanka actually ingested a fake stone in an elaborate bluff to allow the real thief to escape, police said on Tuesday.

Detectives discovered the ruse after waiting until the man, 32, passed the fake stone that he had swallowed at the Facets Sri Lanka annual jewellery exhibition in Colombo last week.

"The man with the real stone vanished while all the attention was on the man who was seen swallowing a stone that turned out to be fake," a police spokesman said. "Investigations are now underway to track down the accomplice and recover the stolen diamond."

Police said the man appeared to swallow a tiny 1.5-carat diamond - creating a distraction as the stall owner shouted to nearby police who arrested him.

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