Incidents » Crimes

Emeralds worth over $8.5 million seized in Moscow

Illegal gem sale is a really grave crime
The Moscow police withdrew emeralds weighing about 2,000 carats from people suspected of illegal gem sale. The press-service of the Interior Ministry Department fighting against economic crimes reports that the police detained three men suspected of illegal gem sale.

No details of the operation and personal details of the detained have been reported yet by the terms of the investigation. According to provisional estimates, the cost of the seized emeralds makes up over $8.5 million. RIA Novosti reports that criminal proceedings have been instituted in connection with the crime.

Interfax reports that the criminals made attempts to sell the two biggest emeralds to the sum of $1 million 869,640 and $2 million 479,200. Other seized gems are smaller; there are three emeralds valued at over $1 million each and the smallest one valued at $100,000. The investigation is looking into possible ways how the gems could get to the black market and finding out criminal connections of the detained.

Another operation of the kind was conducted in the Russian city of Kaliningrad. Officials of the regional police department fighting against economic crimes discovered a hiding place with gems in the Patriot hotel. The press-service of the Kaliningrad regional police department reports that the hiding place contained diamonds and sapphires to the approximate sum of at least 9 million rubles.

The gems were discovered in a room occupied by a top manager of one of Kaliningrad's woodworking enterprises. At the detention, the man stated he kept the gems for private use. But the investigation revealed that the man illegally supplied some of jewelry stores of Kaliningrad with gems, which can be treated as a criminal act. The press-service of the police department states that such a large-scale criminal dealing with illegal gems was detained for the first time in Kaliningrad.

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