CBI issues lookout notice against fifth accused
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CBI issues lookout notice against fifth accused

A Red Corner notice against the absconding accused in the Rs 6.6-crore diamond heist was issued on Monday.

mumbai Updated: Aug 31, 2010 01:29 IST

A Red Corner notice against the absconding accused in the Rs 6.6-crore diamond heist was issued on Monday.

On August 23, five people stole diamond from the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) at Goregaon. Four people — including a 24-year-old Mexican woman — were arrested the next day from Dubai.

The Interpol wing of the Central Bureau of Investigation issued a Red Corner notice against Perez Hender Valmore, the fifth accused.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy said the notice has been issued to facilitate the arrest of the Venezuelan national as and when he is cited by enforcement agencies across the world while trying to cross borders.

Valmore is suspected to be in South Africa where he had fled minutes after his four accomplices were detained at the Dubai airport last Tuesday. Valmore is suspected to be the ringleader of the gang.

Sources in the crime branch told HT that from the interrogation of the arrested, the police have learnt that the gang was formed five years ago. All five are residents of Mexico.

Valmore, who is a frequent visitor to Johannesburg, the largest supplier of raw diamonds in the world, kept track of the happenings in the industry.

“After collating the minutes of the transit or display of a substantial quantity of diamonds, the gang would strike with precision guided planning,” said the source.

The gang was involved in at least five heists in different parts of the world, including Antwrep, in the last five years. Police suspect the gang is connected to a bigger racket in Europe that regularly receives the stolen diamonds.

“It is impossible to sell diamonds immediately after they are stolen. This is because every diamond is unique and carries a distinct laser mark and the news of a theft is circulated in the industry worldwide within minutes. If someone (or a cartel) is buying the stolen diamonds from this gang regularly, he (or the cartel) has to be a big bag who could afford to keep the booty in cold storage for at least five years before selling those,” sources added.

To trace the supposed buyer, the Mumbai police has stepped up efforts to find the addressee in Rome whom Valmore had unsuccessfully tried to courier over 1,600 pieces of the stolen diamonds. “The recipient of the courier has to be a member of the gang,” sources said. “His identification and arrest would certainly lead us unravel a bigger inter-national cartel.”

First Published: Aug 31, 2010 01:28 IST