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Chinese 'diamond' swallower fined in Sri Lanka

He pleaded guilty to aiding theft and was given a fine and two-year suspended jail term. -AFP

Mon, Nov 05, 2012

Sri Lankan stall owner Suresh de Silva shows a 1.5 carot diamond which is similar to a stone a Chinese man stole from him at the start of a gem and jewellery exhibition in Colombo.

COLOMBO - A Chinese man who swallowed a fake stone in a daring bluff that allowed an accomplice to get away with a real diamond pleaded guilty Monday to aiding theft and was given a fine and two-year suspended jail term.

Colombo chief magistrate Rashmi Singappuli ordered the 32-year-old man to pay 100,000 rupees (US$770) over the incident in September when he swallowed the fake stone at an annual gem exhibition.

After the stallholder alerted the police, the Chinese man was arrested but when he passed the stone three days later it was revealed to be fake and investigations found the real thief had got away with a diamond worth US$13,600.

Police said the accomplice has yet to be found.

Photographs showed the captured man, dressed in a black shirt and jeans with his head bowed, being escorted from the exhibition centre by uniformed policemen.

He was taken to hospital for X-rays and given laxatives before being held in custody until his trial.

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