Stolen Graff diamond 'found in pawn shop'
Friday 13 January 2012
A big diamond snatched in a London robbery has popped up in a Hong Kong pawn shop, said a jeweller who is suing in New York to try to get it back.
The more than 16-carat yellow diamond was among those snatched in a July 2007 hold-up at a Graff Diamonds branch in London, the jeweller said in a suit filed last week in Manhattan state Supreme Court.
A pair of sharply dressed men stepped out of a Bentley Continental Flying Spur, pretended to be shoppers and chatted to store staff before brandishing handguns and stealing diamonds and gem-studded rings, necklaces, pendants and earrings, Graff and police said at the time.
The Hong Kong shop later submitted the diamond for certification to the Gemological Institute of America, a New York-based non-profit organisation that grades and identifies jewels, the lawsuit said.
The institute, which had certified the diamond before the robbery, determined the pawn shop had presented the very same gem, although it has been re-cut, Graff's lawsuit says.
"Graff is and was the true owner of the diamond and entitled to immediate possession of the diamond," but the pawn shop will not let the institute return the gem, the lawsuit says.
It is silent on the stone's value. The lawsuit says the institute has the diamond at the moment while it awaits resolution of the ownership dispute.
Sam Hung, a director at the Yau On pawn shop in Hong Kong, said he was not aware the diamond was stolen when the shop bought it.
"When I received the diamond, I had documentation about where I bought it but I had no method of knowing the source (of the diamond). But we did pay for it - we're a pawn shop. We are now negotiating. My lawyers said maybe we could come to a compromise about how much we need to pay to get it back before the court case starts," Mr Hung said.
Mr Hung said he paid about three million Hong Kong dollars (£251,000) for the diamond.
The institute said it could not discuss the matter because of the dispute but noted that it regularly works with law enforcement when stones are reported lost or stolen.
- 1 Boston Marathon runner's search for mystery man she kissed ends with letter from his wife
- 2 Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
- 3 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 4 How to gain confidence and maximise your sexual potential
- 5 Chinese theme park sets up 'death simulator' where volunteers can experience being cremated
Saudi Arabia's King Salman sacks senior aide for 'slapping' a journalist behind him live on TV
Boston Marathon runner's search for mystery man she kissed ends with letter from his wife
Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...