Heists and robberies are no strangers to the diamond industry. Attempts, on all scales, are made around the world to obtain these miraculous specimens. While some burglaries include weapons, masked perpetrators, and violence, other schemes involve trickery and deceit. This was the method utilized by a 39-year-old Chinese woman and her partner, as they attended the 56th Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair in Bangkok, Thailand. However, the heist did not go exactly as planned.
39-year-old Jiang Xulian and an unidentified man requested to view a 6-carat diamond, and then proceeded to distract the salesman so that they could swap the $280,000 diamond with a fake stone. Now, diamond heists of this type unfortunately aren’t new to the industry, especially at diamond and jewelry trade shows as seen in the video below. Only in this scenario it was how the perpetrator attempted to get away with the stolen properly that brought the attention.
The pair made their way to the airport where they were detained after being identified by the police, thanks to the fair’s camera surveillance. In an act of desperation, the woman actually swallowed the stone.
Upon being confronted, Ms. Xulian denied the accusations, but after undergoing an x-ray, the suspect confessed. Unfortunately for her, although we understand she tried, the diamond did not ‘pass’ naturally and had to be surgically removed.
Though the diamond thief is still recovering from her invasive surgery involving the removal of a 6-carat diamond from her large intestine, she is looking at up to three years in prison.
Consuming diamonds may not be the most common method for stealing diamonds, but as strange as it may sound, swallowing diamonds in an attempt to make a getaway has been done before. Several years ago a young South African man swallowed $2.3 million worth of diamonds and was arrested. Another instance involved a 52-year-old Canadian male, Mr. Mathews, who swallowed a 1.7-carat diamond worth $20,000. Thefts at trade shows are also, unfortunately, not too uncommon. Dishonest people take advantage of the busy atmosphere of such events and attempt to pocket a few diamonds. It is therefore imperative for all trade shows and jewelry fairs to be insured and protected with cameras and security personnel.