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Diamond prices are up thanks to the Arab Spring, reports say. (Thinkstock)
Diamond prices are up thanks to the Arab Spring, reports say. (Thinkstock)

Diamond in the rough: Windsor police wait for suspected thief to pass swallowed jewel Add to ...

Police in Windsor, Ont., say the story of a man who allegedly swallowed a $20,000 diamond is gaining international attention.

It’s been nearly a week since Richard Mackenzie Matthews, 52, is alleged to have switched a diamond at Precision Jewellers and swallowed the real one.

Mr. Matthews has been held at police headquarters while they wait for the 1.7-carat stone to pass through his system. Sgt. Brett Corey says Mr. Matthews has gone to the washroom numerous times, but the diamond hasn’t passed.

Sgt. Corey says a recent X-ray showed a pair of fake diamonds, or cubic zirconiums, stuck in the man’s intestines but because a diamond is translucent, it isn’t visible. He says the suspect is eager to get the ordeal over with and is co-operating.

In the early stages, Sgt. Corey says Mr. Matthews was being given laxative type foods, but is now being fed whatever he wants, in an effort to get things moving.

Mr. Matthews is charged with theft and breach of court conditions, and is also wanted on warrants in Toronto. Sgt. Corey says he’s been fielding calls from media outlets across the U.S. as the story grows in popularity.

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