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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 November 2018

Stolen Dh73 million diamond recovered after Dubai Police operation

Thief planned to smuggle precious stone out of the country in his shoe

A Dh73 million diamond was recovered by police before it could be smuggled out of the UAE. Courtesy Dubai Police.
A Dh73 million diamond was recovered by police before it could be smuggled out of the UAE. Courtesy Dubai Police.

A rare blue diamond worth Dh73 million ($20 million) that was stolen by a transport vehicle worker has been recovered by Dubai Police.

The thief planned to smuggle the precious stone out of the country in his shoe before being foiled by officers.

The 9.33 carat gem was stolen from the safe of a vehicle while in transit. Officers said they believed the thief had been plotting the crime for several weeks.

Investigators combed through more than 8,000 hours of surveillance footage to help find the offender - who is of Asian descent - and arrest him before he was able to leave the country.

Col Mohammed Aqeel Al Ahli, deputy director of the general department of investigation, said: "A report was received about the stolen diamond. The suspect managed to get through three security checks.

"Police officers are well trained to deal with such crimes and used high-tech systems to find the suspect. A total of 8,620 hours of footage recorded by surveillance cameras were analysed by the force."

Some 120 people working at the vehicle transfer company were questioned, police said.

"The suspect confessed stealing the diamond. According to his plan, the diamond would be placed in his boot and shipped with other items by sea," said Col Al Ahli.

Maj Gen Abduallah Khalifa Al Marti praised police efforts in tracking the suspect.