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Suspect's swallowed gem was a fake

Sept. 11, 2012 at 1:39 PM

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Sri Lanka police said a man who was accused of swallowing a $13,000 diamond actually swallowed a fake in a possible diversion for an accomplice.

Police said the Chinese suspect -- who diamond owner Suresh de Silva spotted swallowing the object at his stall at a Colombo gem show -- was given laxatives to retrieve the diamond and investigators soon determined it was a fake, the BBC reported Tuesday.

Ajith Rohana, a police spokesman, said the man may have swallowed the fake diamond as a diversion to allow an accomplice to escape with the real $13,000 gem.

"We suspect that as habitual offenders, this group were in the habit of swapping real stones for fake ones," Rohana said.

Rohana said the arrested man, whose name was not released, was found to be carrying six more fake gems in his pocket.

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