Mumbai: Twelve of the 22 Indian diamond traders, detained in China on charges of smuggling, returned home early here Friday after they were let off following
deportation orders by a Chinese court.
"We are happy that 12 diamond traders held in China
returned to India late last night. We are making all efforts
to bring back the remaining traders," Gems & Jewellery Export
Promotion Council (GJEPC) Chairman Rajiv Jain told a news agency here.
22 traders, hailing mostly from Gujarat and Mumbai were
arrested in southern China`s Shenzhen city and were charged
with smuggling diamonds worth 50 million yuan (USD 7.3
million). They were accused of sourcing diamonds illegally
from Hong Kong for sale in the Chinese market.
Shenzhen, known for its diamond processing units, is a
city in China`s Guangdong province close to Hong Kong.
On December 7 last year, the Shenzen Intermediate
People`s Court, which heard the traders` case, ordered their
deportation while sentencing others for varied prison terms.
One detained Indian trader was released on bail with
orders that he should stay in China as he was wanted in
connection with the appeal petition filed by a Chinese citizen
arrested in connection with the case. The other nine persons
were sentenced to varied prison terms ranging from six years
to three and half years.
The case turned out to be politically sensitive as both
the Central and Gujarat governments made several appeals to
the Chinese government for the early release of the detained