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Victorian trio lose $1.4 MILLION in alleged diamond scam

A Victorian trio has collectively lost $1.4 million after they were allegedly targeted in an elaborate diamond scam.

The three were allegedly approached by a man who claimed to own a diamond mine in Sierra Leone and offered an opportunity to invest.

They allegedly paid an initial sum but police said they were also asked for “equipment and various gifts” for the man’s employees before the items were allegedly on-sold to an offshore shop.

Police said the three alleged victims collectively lost more than $1.4 million.

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The victims were allegedly offered the opportunity to invest in a diamond mine in Sierra Leone. Credit: RHJ/File image: Getty

One of the alleged victims lost more than $100,000 and another, more than $1 million.

It is alleged the scam unfolded from September 2017 to October 2021.

Detectives from the Moorabbin Crime Investigation Unit recently charged a 42-year-old male from Melbourne’s south east with 150 deception related offences, including obtaining property by deception.

The man was bailed to appear before the Melbourne Committal Court on February 2.

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“(Alleged) Criminals involved in the deception of others are often convincing and take advantage of people’s trust to exploit others for their own financial gain,” Detective Senior Sergeant Jason Venturoni said in a statement.

“(Alleged) Victims are often left feeling a wide range of emotions including anger, helplessness and humiliation but it is important to know that no victim is to blame, and help is available.

“If you believe you are the victim of deception, we urge you to contact your local police station.”

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