Close to $900,000 in jewels—mostly diamonds—were reported stolen in a shocking 17 thefts at the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, held June 25–28.
Twelve of the thefts occurred on the opening day of the show, including the theft of a $107,000 diamond and the separate theft of a $60,000 diamond, according to the South China Morning Post. The first theft was discovered after an exhibitor reviewed security footage and found that two people had replaced one of his real diamonds with a fake.
On the third day of the show, an exhibitor reported that a bag of diamonds worth $60,000 was missing.
Seven arrests were made opening day, and three people were arrested on Sunday.
The Israeli Diamond Industry reported that the Israeli pavilion at the show was also hit. “These occurred mainly on the opening day of the show, within the three first hours, which suggests coordination,” IDI writer Iris Hortman reported. “All incidents involved the swapping of the stolen diamonds with fake ones.”
Hong Kong is home to several jewelry shows throughout the year, and the shows are often a target for thieves. The June fair is held at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai.