22 Feb 2014

Pink diamond may be in stomach

11:38 pm on 22 February 2014

A British tourist arrested as he was about to board a plane in Melbourne to fly to New Zealand has appeared in court for allegedly stealing and swallowing a rare pink diamond.

The BBC says Matthew Osborne, 29, was arrested at Melbourne airport on Thursday as he prepared to board a flight to New Zealand.

Police say the tiny 0.31 carat Argyle stone - 4.3mm in diameter and valued at $A250,000 - is still missing.

A pink diamond.

A pink diamond. Photo: AFP

Detectives say they carried out an X-ray on Mr Osborne but the results were inconclusive.

Following his arrest in Melbourne, Mr Osborne was flown to Cairns with a police escort and has appeared in court there.

CCTV of the theft at a shop in Cairns last Saturday showed a customer fleeing with the diamond moments after being shown it by a shop assistant.

Police say the thief escaped on a bicycle.