Police in eastern Zimbabwe have arrested a woman who was hiding 83 uncut diamonds in her underwear and vagina, it was reported on Friday.
The 43-year-old was arrested at a roadblock in the eastern city of Mutare on Sunday, the state-controlled Manica Post reported.
Vimbai Munjoma was returning from the Chiadzwa diamond fields in a car with five men. Acting on a tip-off, detectives stopped the car and searched the occupants.
“A total of 16 pieces of diamonds were recovered from Munjoma’s pants,” prosecutor Fletcher Karombe was quoted as saying.
Munjoma was taken to a local hospital, where another 67 diamonds were found in her vagina.
Three panners died in Chiadzwa last week when they were crushed by falling rock.
Mining firms operating in Chiadzwa had kept panners out of the fields, until the government ordered those companies to stop operations late in February.
Only the state-run Marange Resources was allowed to stay on. The firm would be made part of the new Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company.
The Manica Post reported that 168 panners were arrested in Chiadzwa on Sunday.
The Herald newspaper reported on Friday that there was “no going back” on the consolidation of mining activities in Chiadzwa. Mines Minister Walter Chidakwa was quoted as saying that a diamond auction would be held at the end of March.
During an interview to mark his 92nd birthday Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe claimed that mining firms operating in Chiadzwa had “robbed” Zimbabwe of billions of dollars in gems.