Published September 11, 2012
A Chinese man was accused of swallowing a diamond worth $13,600 a a gem show last week and the police took him in to custody, waiting for him to ... pass the stone.
What they discovered when the stone reappeared was that the 32-year-old man had swallowed a fake stone while the real diamond was still missing, according to Agence France Presse.
"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," police spokesman Ajith Rohana told AFP.
"Investigations are now underway to track down the accomplice and recover the stolen diamond. We think both of them were involved in a racket."
Police arrested Chou Wan last week, after a gem owner said he had swallowed a 1.5 carat diamond at a jewelry show in Colombo, according to the Associated Press. An X-ray was taken and Chou was given a laxative so police could recover the gem. After the National Gem and Jewelry Authority inspected the gem, they told police that the diamond was a fake, with no value.
Rohana told the BBC, "We suspect that as habitual offenders, this group were in the habit of swapping real stones for fake ones."
Chou allegedly had six other fake gems in his pocket.
The owner of the stall, Suresh de Silva, said the two men were behaving suspiciously and visited his stall twice. He told the BBC he believed the theft occurred on the first visit, though Chou swallowed the fake gem in a panic after he was apprehended.