The four jewel thieves - three Mexicans including a woman and a
Venezuelan - who carried out the audacious diamond heist worth over
Rs.6.6 crore from the India International Jewellery Show-2010 here
and fled to Dubai after swallowing the gems were Tuesday detained by
According to sources, all the stolen diamonds have been recovered
but there was no official confirmation yet.
The four suspects - (Ms) Guerrero Lugo Elvia Grissel, 24, Gonzalez
Maldonado Mauricio, 24, Campos Molan Elias, 39 - all Mexican
nationals, and Gutierez Orlando, of Venezuela - are currently in the
custody of Dubai Police which detained them early Tuesday following
a request by the Indian Home Ministry.
Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil, speaking to media persons,
said that the suspects, identified on the basis of CCTV footage and
other records at the IIJS-2010, had swallowed the diamonds before
slipping of the country on a late evening Mumbai-Dubai-Hamburg
The suspects had put them in small plastic bags before swallowing
them and the Dubai police made them purge out the valuables after
taking them into custody, he said.
Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Himanshu Roy said that Mumbai
Police are in touch with the Central Bureau of Investigation,
InterPol and other agencies, to get at the bottom of the stunning
“It was a professionally executed crime and there are chances that
they may have conducted a recce of the Bombay Exhibition Centre. We
suspect that the stolen diamonds may have been concealed in the
handbag of the woman accomplice,” Roy said.
However, other investigating agencies also suspect the possible
involvement of a local hand with the guidance of some international
mafia gang for the successful heist and the flight of the thieves
after committing the crime.
The case was cracked and the suspects identified after studying the
CCTV footage and checking records of over 1,500 visitors to the
IIJS-2010 besides the records at the immigration offices at Mumbai's
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, police said.
From Goregaon east, the venue of the expo, the Chhatrapati Shivaji
International Airport at Sahar is a convenient 15-minute drive, with
traffic mostly moving in the south-north direction in the evening
return peak hour.
Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) president Vasant
Mehta told IANS earlier that the CCTV footage clearly shows the four
culprits diverting the attention of the stall attendant, picking up
the box containing the diamonds estimated at over Rs.6.6 crore and
walking out of the main exit virtually uninterrupted.
Police swung into action after Guy Ezekeil Vaz, the Asia sales
manager with Dalumin Hongkong, a diamond company based in Hong Kong,
lodged a complaint late Monday night over the theft of a box
containing the diamonds, worth nearly Rs.6.6 crore.
Vaz said that sometime in the afternoon, when it was relatively lean
final day of the five-day expo, some people engaged him in
conversation, while a couple of their accomplices went to the
company’s stall 1-E/15 in the main hall No. 1.
As he was engaged in conversation, the others managed to quietly
lift the box of diamonds.
By the time he realised the theft and raised an alarm, the culprits
For more than two hours, the exhibition organisers sealed all
entry-exit points but to no avail.
Although Mehta and police have named four people, Vaz's complaint
was registered against the three Mexicans with the involvement of
the Venezuelan national and came to the fore only Tuesday.
The robbers made good their escape with the booty bypassing several
levels of security, including Mumbai Police, private security,
security paraphernalia like metal detectors, electronic swiping of
entry cards, CCTVs, prompting one of the organisers to point a
finger at “insider help”.
The IIJS is considered the third largest international diamond and
jewellery exhibition in the world, which attracted participation
from 800 companies around the world, 1,900 stalls were put up and a
stiff entry fee - Rs.3,600 - levied on visitors.
The diamond theft shocked both the law enforcers and the expo
organizers who have claimed a spotless track record for the event
since the past 27 years.