The manager of a gemstone shop in Colombo was arrested for swindling a New Zealand national of USD 2,400 by selling fake blue gemstones.
Police said the tourist had purchased the gemstones weighting 7.9 carats and 6.3 carats from the shop in Colombo 7, last December.
The tourist had left for Hong Kong where he discovered that the stones purchased in Sri Lanka were fake. He had then returned to the country in April and lodged a complaint with the tourist police division on April 19.
The stones, once examined by the National Gem and Jewelry Authority, was found to be stones that were painted in blue.
The suspect was remanded till June 13 by the Fort Magistrate.
Police said they had discovered a racket where tourists were sold fake stones by gem merchants. One time tourists were easy prey to such racketeers as they were unlikely to return to the country or complaint to local authorities of the deceit. (Darshana Sanjeewa)