Border officials say they have charged a woman they allege tried to smuggle more than 10,000 rough diamonds inside her body.
The Canada Border Services Agency says Helena Freida Bodner was arrested February 3rd at Toronto's Pearson airport, having flown in from Trinidad and Tobago.
Spokeswoman Antonella DiGirolamo says Bodner carried the gems, about 1,500 carats worth, "internally," though she would not elaborate. Their value is roughly $398,000.
Bodner is described as a "foreign national" and the agency says it is still investigating the diamonds' provenance.
CBSA Regional Director Goran Vragovic says the seizure bolsters the agency's "ongoing efforts to combat smuggling and fight global conflict."
Security expert Ross McLean expects that the smuggling had little to do with gemstones.
"It's not importing diamonds, it's money laundering", says McLean, suggesting drugs could be be at play somewhere down the line.
He doesn't think the quantity of rough diamonds in question is especially surprising.
"People who are money laundering, they want to move as much as possible. They want it out of the hands of US taxes and everything else...and diamonds are a great way to smuggle and move about money."
The evidence has been turned over to the RCMP.
Helena Freida Bodner is charged under the Customs Act with making false statements, unlawful possession of prohibited goods and smuggling.
She is due back in court next month.