Police in Russia seize more than 1,000 diamonds and gemstones in raid

Russian police in Volgograd seized more than 1,000 diamonds and gemstones in a raid on illegal dealers.

They seized diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and other precious stones worth about $82 million.

The police moved in after a tip-off about illegal distribution for the black market gems via pawnbrokers and jewelry stores.

“It has been established that they [the suspects] were engaged in the manufacturing of jewelry involving precious stones in low grade gold and silver," a police statement says cited by the RIA Novosti news organization.

"Fake stamps were applied to the jewelry from brands and factories that make products from precious metals. These products were then sold to consumers,” the statement adds.

Two men, aged 27 and 37, were arrested on suspicion of trafficking in gemstones and precious metals. They face up to 12 years in prison if found guilty.