By Annette Chrysostomou
The Larnaca district court on Monday issued a five-day remand order against a 37-year-old Lebanese man, a resident of Paphos, to facilitate police investigations into the sale of fake diamonds between March 16 to 20 in Larnaca.
The man who was arrested on Sunday was the third suspect detained for the same case. A 34-year-old man, a resident of Paphos, was arrested on Saturday and another man, 59, from Larnaca on Thursday.
The owner of a jewellery shop on Phaneromeni Avenue testified that on March 16, two Greek Cypriot men visited his shop, saying they wanted to sell two diamonds belonging to a third person.
The owner examined the diamonds and, based on their weight and temperature, was convinced they were genuine, worth €11,000.
He told them he was not interested in diamonds but said the seller should come back on March 20 when his associate from Greece was going to be in Cyprus.
When the seller visited the shop on that date the owner and his associate checked the gems and offered him €9,000.
The seller said he had a third diamond for sale, which the two agreed to buy for €17,000 instead of the €20,000 he had asked for.
In total, the court heard, the seller received €22,000 from the owner and €4,000 from his associate.
Following the transaction, the seller contacted the jeweller again to ask if he was interested in another diamond, which he later bought for €17,000. The money was paid in €500 notes.
One day later, on March 21, the jeweller took the four stones to a certified gemologist who determined they were fake, only worth around €2,500.
The gemologist also said that the same seller had visited him two years ago to have the same diamonds examined.
The complainant confronted the seller who admitted the stones were not real and eventually returned €25,000 to him.
The second Greek Cypriot who was arrested on Thursday said he didn’t know the diamonds were fake.
Police arrested the seller who also claimed that he did not know the diamonds were fake. He named the Lebanese man as the person who gave them to him.
The Lebanese man was arrested on Sunday afternoon. He told officers he didn’t know they were not real.