French and Israeli police successfully completed a four-year operation to dismantle a French-Israeli group of criminals that engaged in fictitious diamond sales. The newspaper Le Figaro reported about it on Wednesday, July 21, citing the Central Department of Judicial Police (DCPJ).
The police managed to detain and indict 27 criminals, according to reports. It was also found that the swindlers had managed to defraud 1200 people in France for more than € 30 million. During searches of the criminals were seized € 4.5 million, were found numerous bank accounts.
According to investigators, the criminals laundered the money through several bank accounts in China. From there they were sent back to France. The accomplices of the Chinese businessmen operating in its territory received the money and passed it to the criminals of the Franco-Israeli group.
The first wave of arrests of the diamond fraudsters took place in France in 2019. In Israel, the detainees were interrogated and searched. Thus, boxes with more than 800 diamonds were found under the bed of one of them, weighing a total of 27 kg and valued at €500,000 – €1 million.
The investigation into the case began in 2017 after receiving a complaint from the management of the soccer club of the city of Angers, which had lost large sums of money investing in diamonds. During the investigation, police uncovered a criminal network that was operated from Israel.
Victims of the criminals fell for an offer made via the Internet to buy diamonds as a deposit. They were assured that the jewelry would be kept in a safe place and its value would increase. The buyers selected stones over the Internet. After the money was paid, communication with the sellers was cut off.
On June 9 it became known that high-end diamonds went up 10% due to limited supply and high demand for diamonds in the U.S. and China.
Alexei Filippovsky, deputy general director of diamond mining holding Alrosa, noted that in the first three months of the year demand for diamond jewelry products from end users continued to grow in all key markets, mainly in the United States and China. In the United States, demand increased at double-digit rates even relative to 2019.