Thieves arrested for trying to switch gems at Hong Kong fair

HONG KONG – Two gem thieves were arrested on the first day of Hong Kong Jewellery & Watch Fair for trying to switch fake diamonds for real ones, police reportedly said on Thursday.

The men from mainland China allegedly replaced a $27,000 diamond from a stand and put an identical sized fake in its place, reports the online edition of the Kahleej Times, a United Arab Emirates publication. Their names were not released.

Police were alerted and the two men were arrested after a struggle at the opening day of the five-day fair in Hong Kong’s Convention and Exhibition Centre on Wednesday, the publication reports.

A police spokesman said the suspects, aged 26 and 33, were held overnight for questioning but had yet to be charged, according to the report. A number of other fake diamonds were found in the suspects’ possession.

The jewelry fair, now in its 23rd year, is billed as the biggest jewelry fair in Asia with nearly 2,000 exhibitors.