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Foreign Fans Suspected in $2M Diamond Heist in Russia

Sergei Kiselyov / Moskva News Agency

A group of visitors from Latin America are suspected of stealing $2.1-million worth of diamonds in the Russian World Cup host city of Kazan.

A bag of diamonds belonging to a jewelry company from Russia’s Far East disappeared on the closing day of Kazan’s jewelry expo Sunday, the last day of the World Cup, Tatarstan’s Business Online news portal reported.

The 133-million ruble ($2.1 million) heist took 10 minutes to carry out, Business Online reported, citing security footage. Only around a quarter of the Seven Diamonds company’s property was covered by insurance, it cited an anonymous source as saying.

Kazan police identified an unspecified number of Colombians and one Guatemalan as the alleged suspects, the Mash Telegram channel linked to the LifeNews tabloid reported. A scanned copy of a Guatemalan national’s passport was attached to its Telegram post.

One of the alleged suspects has left Kazan for the South Korean capital of Seoul while the others fled to Moscow, Mash reported.

Security footage alleging the moment of the heist shows one man in a red baseball cap and a backpack exiting a building onto an empty parking lot, followed by another man holding a large red bundle. 

Business Online cited an anonymous source as saying the accomplices fled on a rented vehicle.

The head of Seven Diamonds, Vasily Savvin, confirmed the larceny but placed blame on the Russian arm of The Brink’s Company, an American security logistics firm.

“They’re the ones who lost the suitcase with the jewelry,” he told Business Online.

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