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British tourist X-rayed. Did he swallow rare Aussie diamond?

February 25, 2014 Destination Global, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59A British tourist has been detained and X-rayed in Melbourne while trying to board flight to New Zealand after the theft in Cairns of rare pink diamond worth more than AUD 200,000.

Police suspect the Briton of having swallowed the diamond and making off on a bicycle. The case evokes The Pink Panther, a series of films based on a rare diamond (the pink panther of the title) and starring bumbling French detective Inspector Jacques Clouseau, usually played by Peter Sellers. Events

In the real-life case last week, Senior Sergeant Greg Giles told the ABC that Cairns detectives apprehended the 29-year-old Briton at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport.

The pink argyle diamond was stolen from the Diamond Gallery in Cairns last Saturday morning. The thief escaped on a bicycle.

Police were certainly not baffled. Senior Sergeant Giles said they used fingerprints to track the alleged thief to Melbourne and then worked with Customs and the Australian Federal Police until the man tried to leave the country.

The whereabouts of the diamond, however, remains a mystery.

Senior Sergeant Giles says police do not know if the suspect has swallowed the diamond or disposed of it.

“The X-rays are inconclusive at this time,” he told the ABC. “They haven’t shown that the diamond has been swallowed, so we are making some follow-up inquiries.”



Matthew Mark Luke John Osborne appeared in a Melbourne court, where an extradition order to Queensland was granted.

After that, Osborne, presumably named with the gospels in mind, was flown to Cairns at the weekend. He appeared before Cairns Magistrates’ Court accused of snatching the Argyle stone from the jewellers, the Cairns Post reported.

Diamond Gallery owner Keith Bird says he hopes the diamond will be recovered but he doubts the gem is inside Osborne.

Bird told the Brisbane Times that his chances of seeing the “rare as hen’s teeth” diamond again are no “better than 50%”.

Bird established The Diamond Gallery in 1978, having resigned his position as accountant with a large Sydney-based mining company to pursue his passion. He bought the Cairns branch of The Sapphire and Opal Centre from the Sydney owners, turning his hobby of opal and sapphire fossicking in to a career.

Written by : Peter Needham

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