Court awards miner $5M for $54M diamonds vanished in Police custody

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The case involving the $54 million worth of diamonds – that vanished while in Police custody several years ago – finally concluded with High Court Judge Fidela Corbin-Lincoln awarding the applicant, Ronald Khan, $5 million.

The State, through the Attorney General’s Chambers, will have to pay out another $200,000 in court costs to the now elderly retired businessman, who never saw his missing merchandise after it disappeared from the Mahdia Police Station in the Potaro-Siparuni district following a 1994 robbery.

The 430 carats of diamonds were taken as evidence by Police after it was recovered during an investigation after Khan’s Ewang Creek, mining camp was invaded.

During that attack, his brother and another miner were shot and killed, while Khan’s life was nearly taken as he too was shot.

In the judgment handed down by Justice Corbin-Lincoln he said regarding the assessment and value of the 430 carats of diamonds, Khan led no evidence regarding the current value of the 430 carats.

In the absence of this, Justice Corbin-Lincoln said it was then open to the court to make no award of damages. She further said that there was a problem of proof but not of absence of evidence of the amount.

The Judge opined that since Khan failed to produce the evidence of its quality or value, the court has to arrive at a nominal figure in favour of the defendant, the Attorney General, as opposed to Khan.

She therefore awarded the sum of $5 million and observed that the defendants have to pay costs of $200,000.

This case was before the court for just over eight years and Khan had alleged that late Commissioner Greene promised that the matter would be investigated but this never gained traction.

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