South African police say they’ve arrested a 25-year-old man who swallowed 220 polished diamonds in an attempt to smuggle them out of the country. The man, a Lebanese, was attempting to smuggle them from Johannesburg to Dubai.
Capt. Paul Ramaloko of the South African Police Service said investigators arrested the man on Tuesday night as he waited in line at security at O.R. Tambo International Airport just outside of Johannesburg. Ramaloko said a scan of the man’s body showed the diamonds, which later were recovered. He said the man had been on his way to Dubai.
According to the police captain, “We nabbed him just before he went through the security checkpoint… We had to take him through the X-ray and take them out from his body.”
The diamonds were reported to be worth about $2.3 million. Authorities believe the man belongs to a smuggling ring, as another man was arrested in March attempting the same thing. South Africa is one of the world’s top diamond producers.