Police X-ray alleged diamond thief

Police X-ray alleged diamond thief

Australian police searching for a stolen 200,000 Australian dollar (€131,000) rare pink diamond have X-rayed a British tourist suspected to have swallowed it.

The diamond was snatched from a jewellery store in the northern Australia city of Cairns last weekend by a man who escaped on a bicycle.

Police were able to identify the suspect from closed-circuit TV and finger prints.

Police say they arrested a 29-year-old Briton yesterday as he attempted to board a flight to New Zealand from an airport in the southern city of Melbourne.

Senior Sergeant Greg Giles told Australian Broadcasting Corporation today that police have yet to recover the cut diamond, and suspected the tourist swallowed it. But X-rays were inconclusive.

The man is to appear in a Cairns court on theft charges.

He was identified by court records as Matthew Mark Luke Osborne, and was to be extradited from Melbourne in Victoria state and appear in a Cairns court tomorrow charged with theft, police said.

The diamond’s owner, Keith Bird, said police told him that the man had admitted stealing the diamond, and claimed to have swallowed it as he prepared to board the flight from Melbourne.

He said Western Australia state police had the suspect’s fingerprints recorded for a traffic offence.

But Mr Bird, owner of the Diamond Gallery in Cairns, doubts the diamond is inside him.

“If he thought he’d got away with it, why would you sit at the Melbourne airport and swallow it, and if you have to go to the loo on a flight to New Zealand? That would be a bit dangerous,” Mr Bird said.

“If he’s not going to confess where the stone is, he’s going to do some serious time,” he added.

Despite the hefty price tag, the diamond is only 0.31 carat with a diameter of 4.3 millimeters (11/64 of an inch). The value of pink diamonds from Australia’s Argyle Diamond Mine is based more on colour than size.

Mr Bird said the stolen diamond was insured for 200,000 Australian dollars, but he had been asking for 250,000 Australian dollars (€163,000).

More in this Section

Passengers start leaving Diamond PrincessPassengers start leaving Diamond Princess

William Barr ‘considering quitting’ over Trump interventionsWilliam Barr ‘considering quitting’ over Trump interventions

Donald Trump draws scorn for post-impeachment clemency spreeDonald Trump draws scorn for post-impeachment clemency spree

Snake robot created to traverse difficult terrainSnake robot created to traverse difficult terrain


Lifestyle

THE number of children with mental health issues presenting to the paediatric emergency department in Temple Street has increased dramatically, according to a study by Dr Eoin Fitzgerald.Learning Points: Light at the end of the tunnel for mental health?

Cooking in the MasterChef kitchen is just as scary as you’d imagine, writes Georgia Humphreys.Sweet 16 as Masterchef returns

Martin Hayes doesn’t like to stand still. The fiddle virtuoso from East Clare has made it a hallmark of his career to seek out creative ideas from beyond his musical tradition.Martin Hayes: Breaking new ground

At this point, if we are talking about a collective consciousness and how to move forward, lets go back to basics and talk about what we teach our children and what we were taught ourselves, writes Alison Curtis.Mum's the Word: Children remind us, in a world where we can be anything, be kind

More From The Irish Examiner