A company that supplies the world’s largest suppliers of diamonds, the world trade group for the diamonds, said Friday that it was cooperating with authorities in New York investigating the alleged theft of more than 1.5 million diamonds in two separate shipments in December.
The New York Attorney General’s Office said it had received information from a source close to the companies that the diamonds were stolen from a New York warehouse in the state’s Hudson Valley.
The investigation was being conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan, the office said in a statement.
The indictment alleges that on December 13, the company sent 2,856 tons of diamonds to an underground storage facility in Queens, New York, for processing and then shipped another 1,858 tons to a warehouse in Staten Island.
It said that in both cases, the diamonds had not been stamped with a government registry.
The investigation is ongoing, the attorney general’s office said.
The alleged theft comes amid a spike in demand for the highly sought-after gems.
In October, U.N. agencies said that worldwide demand for diamonds rose 9 percent to $1.4 trillion last year from $1 trillion in 2014.
The World Diamond Council said that the global demand for all diamonds was up 11 percent to 1.26 trillion metric tons in the same period.