Colombo, Oct 18 (newsin.asia) – The Sri Lankan Police, on Wednesday arrested four people for stealing a precious Blue Sapphire stone valued at an estimated 137,000 US dollars from a local businessman.
The police said that the businessman who was from Sri Lanka’s southern town of Beruwala, had lodged a complaint with the Police Chief last week, alleging that his sapphire had been stolen when he gave it to a local dealer in Colombo to polish and cut the stone, the local Daily Mirror reported.
The Criminal Investigations Department along with the Terrorism Investigations Department took over the probe and were able to recover the stone from the thieves, the police said.
Sri Lanka is responsible for much of the world’s production of sapphires and fetches a high price in the world market.
Sri Lankan gemologists last year claimed to have found the world’s largest blue sapphire valued at atleast 100 million dollars. The stone weighed 1404.49 carats.
Sri Lanka’s gem industry, for which sapphire is the main export, is worth at least 103 million dollars annually.
The stones are also popular among the Chinese tourists as the Chinese consider Sri Lanka’s blue sapphires a symbol of good fortune and prosperity, local media reports have said.
Sri Lanka’s Gem and Jewellery Association said in 2011 that the engagement ring for Catherine Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, included a sapphire mined in the country in the 1970s.
The ring was previously owned by Diana, Princess of Wales.