Rough diamonds at the Diavik diamond mine. Photo: Rio Tinto
A Yellowknife 39-year-old is accused of stealing diamonds from a mine in the Northwest Territories.
Diavik Diamond Mines Inc reported a suspected diamond theft last month. In a news release issued on Wednesday afternoon, RCMP said they had arrested and charged Samson Mkhitaryan with two counts of theft exceeding $5,000.
Police called the incident an “internal theft” and said the diamonds had been recovered.
“It is important to recognize the quick actions of the diamond company and investigation by RCMP led to the successful recovery of the diamonds,” said RCMP spokesperson Marie York-Condon in a prepared statement.
“The checks and balances in place were able to bring this illegal activity to light and the police of jurisdiction were able to make an arrest.”
A Diavik representative declined to discuss the position held by the accused, the location of the alleged theft, or whether the company plans to review its operations and make changes to security as a result. The quantity of diamonds allegedly taken has not been revealed.
“We can’t discuss specifics, but we can confirm that we have reported an incident to the RCMP,” said spokesperson Rebecca Alty. “As this is a police matter, we are not able to make any further comment.”
The investigation is continuing. Mkhitaryan is next due in court on April 17.