The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have appointed a special "diamond cop" to combat the smuggling of gemstones and precious metals as well as hauls of illicit stashes from drug busts.
The Montreal Gazette reports that the illicit trade in gemstones as well as the increased willingness of drug dealers to accept hard commodities in lieu of cash has led law enforcement to turn to their own resident gemstones expert.
Cpl. Kelly Ross, a geology major and certified gemologist, has been appointed the RCMP's resident "diamond cop," entrusted with overseeing the Mounties' nation-wide investigations of the use gemstones and precious metals in criminal activities from his base in Alberta.
According to Ross the acceptance by drug dealers of diamonds and gold "basically as cash" means major drug busts often uncover large troves of precious metals and gem stones.
The smuggling of diamonds and precious metals is also a flourishing trade, with the promise of immense returns compelling smugglers to adopt ingenious techniques to conceal their illicit cargo.
Some of the novel smuggling techniques that Ross has witnessed on the job includes the taping of $42,000 in gemstones to the soles of a man's feet, and the sewing of individual diamonds into underwear tags.