French and Israeli police have successfully completed a four-year operation to liquidate a criminal Franco-Israeli group that carried out operations with a fictitious sale of diamonds. This was reported on Wednesday, July 21, by Le Figaro, citing the Central Office of the Judicial Police (DCPJ).
It is reported that law enforcement officers managed to detain 27 malefactors and bring charges against them. It was also found that in France the scammers managed to deceive 1200 people for a total amount of more than € 30 million. During the searches, € 4.5 million were seized from the criminals, and numerous bank accounts were discovered.
According to the investigation, the criminals laundered the funds received by transferring them through several bank accounts to China. From there they headed back to France. The accomplices from among the Chinese merchants operating on its territory received this money and transferred it to criminals from the Franco-Israeli group.
The first wave of arrests of diamond fraudsters took place in France in 2019. In Israel, interrogations and searches of the detainees were carried out. So, under one of them, boxes with more than 800 diamonds with a total weight of 27 kg and a cost of € 500,000 – € 1 million were found under the bed.
An investigation into the case began in 2017 after receiving a complaint from the management of the Angers football club, which lost large sums of money by investing in diamonds. During the investigation, the police identified a criminal network that was operated from Israel.
The victims of the attackers were caught on an offer made via the Internet to purchase diamonds as a contribution. They were assured that the jewelry would be kept in a safe place, and their value would increase. Buyers selected stones over the Internet. After the money was paid, the connection with the sellers was interrupted.
On June 9, it became known that elite diamonds rose in price by 10% amid limited supply and high demand for polished diamonds in the United States and China.
Alexey Filippovskiy, deputy general director of the diamond mining holding Alrosa, noted that in the first three months of this year, the demand for diamond jewelry from end consumers continued to grow in all key markets, mainly in the United States and China. In the United States, demand has grown at a double-digit rate even relative to 2019.