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Police have two suspects in custody regarding the alteration of more than 1,000 GIA diamond grading reports
Police have two suspects in custody regarding the alteration of more than 1,000 GIA diamond grading reports

Police nab suspects over altered diamond reports

Two people are in custody following an incident that resulted in the invalidation of more than 1,000 altered GIA diamond grading reports.

Last week, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) issued a laboratory alert stating that 1,042 altered diamond grading reports had been invalidated.

The action was the result of an investigation undertaken in conjunction with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the contractor responsible for supporting the GIA’s databases, following the discovery of a number of grading discrepancies by “internal controls”.

“The investigation revealed that an outside party altered grading information for 1,042 diamonds examined by GIA,” a GIA statement explained.

“The investigation indicates that one or more former employees of TCS made these unauthorised changes. The individuals, acting at the behest of other parties unrelated to GIA or TCS, gained unauthorised remote access to alter grades before reports were printed and sent to clients.”

In addition, the statement noted that most of the diamonds in question had been submitted in India, with most subsequently graded in full or in part at other GIA locations, including California and New York.

The diamonds, which were submitted by 19 different clients and ranged in size from 0.40–9.05 carats, were said to have been submitted between November 2014 and September 2015. Approximately 900 of the submissions took place in July and August of this year.

“GIA takes very seriously our mission to protect the public trust in gems and jewellery,” the statement read. “Any attempt to mislead regarding the nature and qualities of any gem is unacceptable.”

On 26 October, the GIA announced that two former employees of TCS were in custody in relation to the matter.

The investigation is ongoing, with a statement noting that the GIA was co-operating with Indian police.

The GIA has posted a list of the invalidated reports on its website, requesting that industry members in possession of the false reports return them to the laboratory immediately.

The news comes after the GIA recalled 424 diamond grading reports in May this year due to suspicion that approximately 500 stones submitted to the organisation’s Israel laboratory had been subjected to an “undisclosed temporary treatment”.

In August, the GIA also closed the accounts of several Indian diamond manufacturers that were believed to have fraudulently inscribed diamonds with pre-existing GIA report numbers belonging to other stones.

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