Man who stole diamonds drew map to help police

Sorting rough diamonds. Submitted photo
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A man who stole $393,000 worth of diamonds from a sorting facility in Yellowknife cooperated immediately when taken in for questioning, the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories heard Monday.

Samson Mkhitaryan admitted he stole the diamonds from the Diavik Diamond Mines’ product splitting facility even before being arrested for the crime, defence lawyer Peter Harte says. Mkhitaryan even drew a map when the first police search failed to find the diamonds hidden in the boiler room of his garage.

How Mkhitaryan smuggled the diamonds out of the facility isn’t clear. Crown prosecutor Martine Sirois says he was discovered using security footage.

Supreme Court Justice A.M. Mahar says the case is unique for the monetary amount of the theft, the highest ever seen in the territory. However, Mkhitaryan’s full cooperation with police and the fact that he didn’t seem to know what the diamonds were worth nor how to appraise or sell them is also unique Mahar added.

Mkhitaryan has no criminal record, which Sirois says is the norm for white collar crimes. He will be sentenced February 6th in Yellowknife.

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