Dubai to send diamond heist suspects back to India

Three men and a woman arrested at Dubai airport after allegedly stealing $1.4m worth of diamonds from a Mumbai jewellery show will be handed back to India.

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DUBAI // Police were preparing today to hand over four suspects arrested at Dubai international airport after they allegedly pulled off a diamond heist at a jewellery show in India. Diplomatic efforts have been under way since the arrests to extradite the group back to Mumbai. A Mumbai police team was expected to arrive in Dubai yesterday to escort the group back along with the gems.   Major Gen Khamis al Mazeina, Dubai's deputy police chief, said: "We are currently completing their papers and hopefully they will be transferred back to India".

Elvia Grissel Guerrero Lugo, 24, Mauricio Gonzalez Maldonado, 24, Elias Campos Molan, 39, all from Mexico, and Orlando Gutierez of Venezuela are alleged to have walked out of the Indian International Jewellery Show on Monday with stolen diamonds weighing 887 carats, valued at US$1.4 million. Indian officials confirmed that the process of returning them to India was moving swiftly.  Himanshu Roy, Mumbai's joint commissioner of police for law and order, said today: "We have communicated with the Dubai police and all four of them will be deported tonight." .

Closed-circuit television footage showed the group taking the gems from a stall at the show belonging to the Israeli company Dalumi Group. Three men could be seen distracting the booth's attendant while a woman picked up a box of diamonds, put it in her handbag and walked towards the main exit.  The group left the exhibition hall without being stopped by security guards. They then drove to Mumbai's international airport, about 20 minutes from the show venue, and boarded an Emirates Airline flight destined for Hamburg that included a stop in Dubai. The attendant discovered the robbery soon after the suspects left the hall and informed the show's organisers, who called police. An Interpol alert was immediately issued by Indian authorities. Dubai airport security officials were informed of the robbery and were on the lookout for the suspects, who were arrested immediately after they landed.

The arrests and recovery of the spoils were made within 24 hours of the heist. The jewellery show, which opened in Mumbai on August 19 and ended on Monday, is the third-largest of its kind in the world.