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Man caught smuggling huge ‘blood diamond’ in Frankfurt

An 86.7-carat uncut diamond worth an estimated €2.5 million has been seized at Frankfurt airport from an Angolan man arriving from Namibia, police said on Friday.

Man caught smuggling huge 'blood diamond' in Frankfurt
The smuggled diamond. Photo: DPA

The 38-year-old, who has not been named, told customs officials after being detained with a forged visa on Thursday that he intended to use the precious stone to buy cars in Portugal. He also said the stone was worth just €50,000.

But an examination concluded the diamond, around three centimetres high and three centimetres wide, was worth around €2.5 million.

The man, who was unable to produce documentation for the precious jewel, is accused of “a whole range of offences” including breaching international rules meant to stop the trade of “blood diamonds” from conflict areas, customs spokesman Hans-Jürgen Schmidt said.

He also faces charges of smuggling and of withholding around €500,000 in import taxes, and was due to go before an investigating judge late on Friday, Schmidt told AFP.

“The diamond will most likely be confiscated and go to the German state,” Schmidt said. “He will not be a free man whatever happens. The judge will either remand him in custody or he will be deported to Angola.”

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CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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