Foreigners up for theft of 548,25 carats of diamonds

diamondsFungai Lupande Court Reporter
Two Indian men yesterday appeared in court for attempting to steal 548,25 carats of diamonds at the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe and smuggle them out of the country.

Amitkumar Vinibhai Patel and Amarkumar Jashwantbhai Rana of Belvedere, Harare, appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Elijah Makomo.

The pair is facing charges of unlawful dealing in precious stones, attempted theft and smuggling.

Mr Makomo remanded them in custody to today for bail application.

Prosecutor Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa, alleged that on February 21, the pair that work in United Arab Emirates arrived at Harare International Airport for the viewing and bidding of diamonds.

The following day, Patel and Rana visited MMCZ Complex at No.90 Mutare Road Msasa at around 8am.

It is alleged that the duo wanted to view and bid diamonds before they were allocated room No.8 at the same complex.

The court heard that around 2.30pm, the pair was allegedly spotted on CCTV stealing diamonds by a police officer.

The 174 pieces of diamonds the accused allegedly stole are equivalent to 548,21 carats valued at $240 592,20.

It is alleged that after stealing the diamonds they went to the toilet where they stashed them in their socks.

In an attempt to conceal the theft, the pair tried to replace the stolen diamonds with other different pieces.

The court heard that bringing in own diamonds was in violation of the sorting house’s rules and regulations.

No one was allowed to bring in their diamonds or leave the room with diamonds.

It is alleged that the pair was searched and detectives recovered 174 pieces of diamond.

The pair allegedly failed to account for the diamonds upon questioning.

They were subsequently arrested.

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