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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Smugglers Detained

MOSCOW -- Russian investigators said Thursday they had busted an international diamond-smuggling ring with the detention of a Belgian couple accused of trying to sneak out more than $3 million worth of the stones.

The two had received the 9,259 diamonds, which together weighed more than 500 grams, from another Belgian national who works for a Russian-Belgian joint venture, said Vladimir Martynov, spokesman for the Interior Ministry's investigative committee.

The couple allegedly concealed the diamonds while going through customs controls Wednesday at Sheremetyevo Airport, but were then detained before boarding a flight for Germany, Martynov said.

The Interior Ministry described the detentions as part of a secret operation against an international criminal ring engaged in the illegal purchase and sale of Russian diamonds abroad.