Man arrested with more than £250,000 of diamonds in his underpants at Paris train station

Hundreds of rough diamonds of various sizes discovered weighing nearly a kilogram

Katie Forster
Thursday 19 January 2017 10:13
Man arrested at Paris train station with 300,000 euros worth of diamonds in his underpants

A man arrested at a train station in Paris had more than £250,000 worth of diamonds stuffed in his underpants, customs officers have said.

The passenger was stopped by police as he prepared to board a train to Brussels at Gare du Nord, a busy terminus in the French capital.

Hundreds of rough diamonds of various sizes, weighing nearly a kilogram, were discovered hidden in plastic packets inside the man’s undergarments.

A specialist estimated the value of the gems to be around 300,000 euros (£259,000), French customs said yesterday.

The man is believed to have travelled from the Democratic Republic of Congo to France before his arrest in late December.

The trade and transportation of rough diamonds in Europe is strictly controlled, with anyone in possession of the rocks required to first be verified by the EU and given an official certificate.

Since 2003, an international agreement called the Kimberley Process has attempted to ensure shipments of rough diamonds did not fuel conflict in the countries where they are mined.

Gare du Nord in Paris

Currently around 80 countries participate in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, with all the EU states acting as one of scheme's 54 members.

French customs authorities released a video of the haul, showing the diamonds shining and glittering even before they have been cut.

The EU is a major centre for diamond trading, according to the European Commission, with illicit deals taking place in major cities like London and Antwerp.

Gare du Nord is the busiest railway station in Europe by passenger numbers.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in