An attractive and sophisticated 25-year-old appraiser carefully studies a 3.2 carat purple diamond that could be priced at € 15 million. It is observed by the owner of the jewel, a Swiss businessman who traveled from Dubai on January 2, 2020 and arrived at the office escorted by a private security agency from the El Prat Airport, and an intermediary from the Catalan company who has fostered the meeting. The appraiser completes its analysis. The stone is authentic.
The appraiser works for the buyer of the diamond and her mission, as a neutral expert to certify the amount of the diamond, is over. He takes the jewel, places it in a cardboard box, seals it and orders it to be kept in the safe of the company that officiates the transaction until his client gives the final ‘ok’. It seems reasonable to the seller and the middleman gets up and opens the safe. The woman places the sealed box inside the safe and the intermediary prepares to close it. The appraiser suddenly stops him. You have forgotten to seal the box properly. He reaches into the safe again, manipulates the seal, and then removes them. The intermediary closes the safe. The appraiser asks for permission to leave the office and make the call to the buyer of the diamond to close the transaction.
Five minutes pass. Another five minutes pass. Another five. There are already twenty. The seller loses patience and the intermediary requests that it be verified where the appraiser is. It has disappeared from the building. Neither the seller nor the middleman understand anything but a cold sweat runs down their back. They run to the safe and open the jewel box: it is empty.
Agents of the Criminal Investigation Area (AIC) of the Mossos d’Esquadra received that same afternoon more than a year ago swindled Swiss salesman and businessman who had put him in contact with the thief. “We had never seen something like this: a theft of that value or that elaboration,” admit sources from the AIC. As the company had gone to pick up the appraiser at the hotel where he was staying, an investigation called the ‘Diamond Case’ started there.
The hotel was the Hesperia on Avenida Diagonal. Thanks to the security cameras, Agents obtained photographs from the appraiser and also from the buyer. I was not a neutral worker, had acted in collusion with the client. The Mossos sent their captures to the Sirene system for the exchange of information between bodies. Parallel, They studied the box that they had left empty in the safe and from there they obtained fingerprints of a third man, booked by the National Police. A few days later, the French police contacted the Mossos to reveal that they had identified the two suspects from the Hesperia hotel. All three, the appraiser, the buyer and the man whose fingerprints were on the hoax box were members of the Tudorache clan, of Romanian origin.
The police forces created a joint work team. They tapped their mobile phones and discovered that in July 2020 they tangled up a Zurich car collector and stole 200,000 from him. (185,000 euros) Swiss and that in August they got another 4.5 million diamond in a hotel in Cannes (France). The follow-up also confirmed that the organization traveled to Valencia on October 15 to carry out a third entanglement that it did not carry out because the victim did not show up for the appointment. Likewise, the members of the gang had contacts that did not prosper with people of high purchasing power in Dubai to place the two usurped jewels: the Cannes diamond and the purple one from Barcelona.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.