• Accused of stealing six-carat diamond from a jewellery fair in Nonthaburi
  • Thai police arrested woman and partner at a Bangkok airport on Thursday
  • Dealer told police the pair had swapped the diamond for a fake at the show
  • Claimed to be innocent until scan revealed diamond in her large intestine

Imogen Calderwood For Mailonline

A Chinese woman was forced to undergo a colonoscopy after she stole a £180,000 diamond and swallowed it.

Despite originally protesting her innocence, the woman, identified as 39-year-old Jiang Xulian, confessed to the theft after a scan revealed it to be lodged in her large intestine.

Doctors armed with a colonoscope and medical pliers carried out the delicate operation at a hospital in Nonthaburi on Sunday.

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Caught on camera: A Chinese woman, identified as 39-year-old Jiang Xulian (pictured left on CCTV), was forced to undergo a colonoscopy after she stole a £180,000 diamond and swallowed it 

Caught on camera: A Chinese woman, identified as 39-year-old Jiang Xulian (pictured left on CCTV), was forced to undergo a colonoscopy after she stole a £180,000 diamond and swallowed it 

The woman was accused of stealing the six-carat diamond from a gemstone and jewellery fair in the city.

She was arrested on Thursday night at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport with her alleged accomplice, a Chinese man.

They insisted they were just tourists trying to return home from their holidays, but their story was proved false when the scan revealed the hidden diamond.

The Chinese duo had allegedly switched a fake stone for the real one after asking to inspect it at the jewellery fair, earlier the same day.

They were caught after CCTV images showed their visit to the stand, and were also identified by the dealer at the booth selling the diamond.

Police Col. Mana Tienmaungpak said that the woman confessed to the theft following the scan.

Insides: The Chinese woman and her partner in crime had allegedly switched a fake stone for the real one after asking to inspect it at the jewellery fair, earlier the same day (file image of a digital colonoscopy)

Insides: The Chinese woman and her partner in crime had allegedly switched a fake stone for the real one after asking to inspect it at the jewellery fair, earlier the same day (file image of a digital colonoscopy)

Clear cut: She finally agreed to the operation after being told that the diamond could cause damage to her insides, and nature and laxatives had failed to do the job (file photo)

Clear cut: She finally agreed to the operation after being told that the diamond could cause damage to her insides, and nature and laxatives had failed to do the job (file photo)

She finally agreed to the operation after being told that the diamond could cause damage to her insides, and nature and laxatives had failed to do the job.

The diamond’s owner identified the stone after it was removed.

If convicted, the pair could face up to three years in prison. 

Hiding diamonds in the digestive tract is a rare, if not unknown, tactic. 

In 2012, police in South Africa arrested a 25-year-old man who they said had swallowed 220 polished diamonds in an attempt to smuggle them out of the country.

The diamonds, said to be worth around £1.5million, were discovered by a body scan as the man waited to go through security at the airport before flying to Dubai. 

 

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