The Madhya Pradesh police in Panna district arrested three suspected diamond smugglers on Tuesday night and seized 42 polished diamonds and ₹1.85 lakh in the new ₹2000 banknotes from them.
Two of the accused are from Uttar Pradesh, while one hails from Maharashtra. All three are presently based in Mumbai and involved in the diamond business.
Brijpur police station officer JS Rajput said they received a tip-off, following which Panna SP Riyaz Iqbal constituted a joint team of Brijpur and Kotwali police to catch the smugglers. The team nabbed the three accused from the Kachari rotary and seized the polished diamonds which they had kept in three small sachets.
The diamonds were in cent weight and not in carats.
Rajput said the three have been identified as Ayodhya Nath Choubey (54), Azizuddin Ansari (43) and Dashrath Naryan Kadam (54). They had travelled to Panna on January 2 and were staying at a local hotel.
They were produced in court on Wednesday and remanded to a two-day police custody.
Meanwhile, Iqbal told HT that the police are also investigating the source of these polished diamonds and their local selling point. He said police will also look into the issue where they got new currency notes.