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21 Indians detained in China
Published on 12 Jan. 2010 11:07 PM IST
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21 Indians have been detained in the Shenzhen region of China for alleged diamond smuggling. The detentions were made on Friday last and the Chinese authorities are moving to press charges of diamond smuggling against them, sources said. Indian embassy in Beijing immediately took up the matter with the Chinese government and sought consular access to them, they said. The consular access has been granted for Thursday. In New Delhi, foreign secretary Nirupama Rao said a report has been sought from the embassy in Beijing. “I am aware that some Indians have been taken into custody by the Chinese authorities in Shenzhen. I have asked our ambassador in Beijing for factual report on this matter,” she said. Rao said Ambassador S Jaishankar “is in touch with the Indian consular general in Guangzhou, which covers Shenzhen and we are awaiting the full facts from the Ambassador.” Chinese media claim that the diamond smuggling racket was busted by Shenzhen Custom’s officials. The ring is said to have sourced diamonds in Hong Kong and hired Indians and local carriers to smuggle them into Shenzhen before distributing them to factories, which, in turn, sold them on the open market. The incident comes at a time when Chinese nationals working on various infrastructure projects in India have complained of a host of problems, including issues relating to their visas. Three Chinese engineers were arrested in Korba town in Chhattisgarh on Monday for chimney crash in the Balco plant in which 41 workers were killed in September last year. The Chinese were on Tuesday shifted to a district hospital in Korba town after they complained of health problems.

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