By Daniel Shane
Russian citizen did not declare bumper crop of precious gems hidden in hand luggage
Customs officials in Moscow seized 26,000 diamonds from a man who arrived on a flight from Dubai carrying the precious gems in his hand luggage.
In a statement on Russia’s Federal Customs Service website, it said that the individual, a Russian citizen, had attempted to take the diamonds through Sheremetyevo International Airport’s ‘green zone’, which is designated for passengers with no goods to declare.
The unidentified man was also carrying nearly 250 boxes for iPhone 5 smartphones, as well as five actual iPhone handsets.
“The citizen says the precious gems and goods don’t belong to him, and that an acquaintance asked him to transport them,” the Federal Customs Service said in the statement.
The diamonds have been sent for analysis and authorities are currently deciding whether to open a criminal investigation.
Travellers into Russia are required to declare goods worth more than €10,000 (US$10,000) and pay applicable customs fees.