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Thieves try to steal $1.1m worth of diamonds at Hong Kong gem fair

Five people were arrested this week for trying to steal gems worth US$880,000 (S$1.1 million) at a jewellery fair in Hong Kong, police said on Thursday.

The spate of attempted thefts at the Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair, which opened Monday, may have been the work of a gang from China, local media reported.

One of the arrests happened on Wednesday when a 41-year-old man posing as a buyer tried to switch a five-carat stone worth HK$3 million (S$490,000) with a fake, the South China Morning Post reported.

When he was challenged by a staff member, he dropped the real diamond and was arrested by police, the newspaper reported.

Trained to commit such crimes

A police spokesman said: "All the arrested persons were from China although we still don’t know whether they were working together."

The South China Morning Post said police were looking into whether the men were from the same gang.

"We believe they are trained to commit such crimes before coming to Hong Kong to steal," the paper quoted a police officer as saying.

The fair is taking place at two places in Hong Kong with 3,600 exhibitors from 48 countries, according to the event website.

Source: AFP

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