Man tries to smuggle R20m in diamonds

Johannesburg - A Lebanese man was arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle diamonds worth about R20m out of OR Tambo International Airport, the Hawks said on Wednesday.

Police, responding to a tip-off, arrested the 25-year-old on a plane about to leave for Dubai on Tuesday night, Captain Paul Ramaloko said.

"We recovered 220 pieces of diamonds which he had swallowed shortly after his arrest."

In March another Lebanese man, aged 27, was arrested at the airport and diamonds worth R15m were recovered. Ramaloko said police believed the two were part of a diamond-smuggling syndicate.

He would appear in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

Investigations were continuing.

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