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Authorities Probe Diamond Theft at Alrosa

Russian authorities detain worker who attempted to steal more than $340,000 worth of stones.
Jun 11, 2019 5:22 AM   By Rapaport News
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Russian authorities have detained three members of an alleged criminal gang accused of stealing and selling high-quality diamonds belonging to Russian miner Alrosa. 

The thefts, which allegedly occurred over an extended period, were committed by an Alrosa employee working in its sorting and grading department, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation claimed Monday. She colluded with two external accomplices: one who acted as an intermediary and another who was responsible for selling the stones, according to authorities.

“Alrosa confirms the announcement of [the] Federal Security Service and Investigative Committee of Russia on the suppression of [a] large-scale scheme of theft of rough diamonds at the company’s United Selling Organization,” Alrosa said in a statement to Rapaport News Monday.

The police caught the employee as she attempted to leave Alrosa’s premises on June 6 with a batch of diamonds worth more than RUB 22 million ($340,000).

“Alrosa’s security service directly participated in that operation,” the Russian miner noted. “The company is extremely satisfied with the joint work.”

Authorities also found about 500 rough diamonds weighing more than 2,000 carats, another 11 diamonds worth over $3 million, and more than $2.5 million in cash at the trio’s homes. Jewelry from well-known luxury retailers was also confiscated, including more than 30 diamond-encrusted watches.

A Russian court has placed the suspects in custody, and they will be subject to a criminal investigation, authorities noted.

Image: Parcels of stolen diamonds recovered from the suspectshomes. (The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation)
Tags: Alrosa, Diamond-Theft Gang, Elena Kanunnikova, Federal Security Service and Investigative Committee of Russia, Georgia Vladimir Tabidze, Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, Rapaport News, United Selling Organization, Vladimir Gordinsky
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