Pink diamond 'thief' held in Australia

2014-02-21 12:26

(File) (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - Australian police said on Friday they had arrested and X-rayed a man over the theft of a pink diamond worth more than $180 000, with fears he had swallowed the rare jewel.

The 29-year-old, reported by Australian media to be British tourist Matthew Osborne, was arrested as he attempted to board an international flight in Melbourne.

"He is expected to appear in the Cairns Magistrates Court tomorrow charged with entering premises and stealing property," police said.

"The stolen diamond is still outstanding and investigations are continuing."

The pink diamond, from Rio Tinto's exclusive Argyle mine and valued at more than $200 000, was stolen Saturday from a jewellery store at Cairns, in northern Queensland.

Store owner Keith Bird told police the offender plucked the diamond from his hands after asking for a closer look and fled on a mountain bike.

‘Rare as hen’s teeth’

Using his fingerprints and CCTV images, police tracked the suspect to Melbourne where he was arrested on Thursday trying to board a flight for New Zealand, senior sergeant Greg Giles told reporters.

The man was put through an x-ray machine to determine whether he had ingested the diamond.

"The x-rays are inconclusive at this time," said Giles.

"They haven't shown that the diamond has been swallowed, so we are making some follow-up inquiries.

Bird said he would love to have the 4.3mm gem returned, with a local buyer expressing interest. He described it as "rare as hen's teeth".

"We do have a buyer for it - a local buyer. A lot of people are buying them because they are going up in value."

Rio produces more than 90% of the world's pink diamonds from the Argyle mine, where high quality jewels can fetch in excess of $1m per carat.

Soaring demand has seen pink diamond prices skyrocket in the past 20 years, with especially keen buyers Japan and India.

It is not known how the diamonds acquire their pink tinge but it is thought to come from a molecular structure distortion as the jewel forms in the earth's crust or ascends to the surface.

Read more on:    australia

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Miley Cyrus can’t get enough of her new puppy

Miley's new dog is too adorable.



13 guilty pets
Meet SA's top poacher-catcher
The unusual pets of Instagram
Bertie sets a new world record!

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Plant some seeds. Your innovative mind is on fire and your ingenious ideas may just be the seeds for future projects. You may more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.