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Markets & Pricing

The final cut

Curious capers

In which Rapaport Magazine unearths some outrageous diamond stories.

By Leah Meirovich
Deadly diamond trail

Antinea Massetti De Rico, “The Queen of Diamonds,” founded Intermarket Diamond Business in Italy as an investment entity for wealthy clients. She not only refused Mafia money, but testified against members in court. Within a decade, her husband became mentally incapacitated under suspicious circumstances, and she “slipped” on a marble floor and was relegated to a semipermanent vegetative state. The business’s president then allegedly committed suicide by suffocation — a near-impossible feat — and the couple and their business were signed over to a lawyer. Shortly thereafter, Massetti De Rico and her husband died, and the lawyer took ownership of all their assets. Investigations followed, and nine people were indicted in the affair.

Source: The Daily Beast

Bag swag

Police seized $29 million worth of cash, handbags, diamonds, jewelry and watches hidden in multiple suitcases and bags. The valuables, belonging to the former Malaysian first lady, had been stashed throughout multiple apartments the family owned. Her husband, ex-prime minister Najib Razak, is the focus of a probe into alleged embezzlement and money laundering linked to Malaysian state investment company 1MDB, which he oversaw. It took authorities three days to count the seized cash, and they are still working on a full accounting of retrieved assets.

Source: Bloomberg

No stone unturned

Vinod Roshan D’Souza of India has made it his life’s passion to bring the Koh-i-noor diamond back to the country. The legendary stone was gifted to the UK by 10-year-old King Duleep Singh after the Anglo-Sikh war in 1849. Since then, Britain’s ownership of the diamond has been hotly contested.

In his first attempt to secure the stone for India, D’Souza wrote to the queen of England, asking for its return. When this failed, he contacted fashion designer Khvaja Ameen, who provided him with some information about the era. D’Souza then wrote to then-US President Barack Obama for help, and was redirected to the United Nations. He was told the UN could take up the issue if an official member of UNESCO presented it in assembly. Again, after writing to his government, D’Souza hit a brick wall.

He has since written to the UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport in an effort to retrieve the stone — which is part of the Crown Jewels — and vows not to rest until the diamond is back in India.

Source: Hindustan Times

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - July 2018. To subscribe click here.

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