China arrests 121 for diamond smuggling
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Chinese customs cracked a diamond smuggling case earlier this month in which an estimated 3.88 billion yuan (US$573 million) worth of diamonds had been smuggled since 2015, according to an announcement by the General Administration of Customs on Monday.
On September 1, 10 customs offices around the country sent more than 1,000 police officers to crack down on the smugglers, China Daily reports.
The anti-smuggling department of customs arrested 121 suspects and seized over 2,520 diamonds, more than 4,000 carats of broken diamonds and 158 pieces of diamond jewelry.
Reports says a Chinese couple had 150 packets of undocumented polished diamonds and details of their destinations when they were picked up in Shenzhen.
Their information they yielded is said to have led to the arrest of 120 Chinese, alleged to be have been planning to receive the gems.
Diamonds legally imported into China attract a four per cent customs duty, which smugglers try to evade.
In January, 21 Indians were among 33 foreigners arrested in Shenzhen on diamond-smuggling charges.
Local authorities said the Shenzhen-based traders were involved in a smuggling racket, reportedly bringing in diamonds from Hong Kong for sale the open market. The Indian traders were alleged to have been hired by the smuggling ring as “carriers”, according to officials, Indian media has reported.