1,500 carats in diamonds seized at Pearson
Customs officials and the RCMP say they have seized a stash of smuggled diamonds at Toronto's Pearson airport, leading to smuggling charges against a woman who had flown in from Trinidad and Tobago.
The RCMP said today a foreign national, 66-year-old Helena Freida Bodner, faces charges including smuggling and making false statements after she was stopped upon her arrival at Pearson on Feb. 3 and was found to be carrying 1,500 carats in rough diamonds.
The diamonds — 10,202 individual stones — were concealed inside her body. The RCMP says they are worth about $398,000.
The RCMP did not say where Bodner is from and is investigating the source of the diamonds.
The importation of rough diamonds is strictly regulated, under the international agreement known as the Kimberly Process, to prevent the trade of so-called "conflict diamonds."
"The RCMP and CBSA will continue to work closely to detect and disrupt the trade in precious gems by criminal networks," said Insp. Dean Dickson of the RCMP's Toronto Airport Detachment, in a statement.
Bodner is being held in custody and is due to appear in court on Feb. 21.