Chinese pearl smugglers arrested in Tahiti

7:40 am on 23 January 2019

Two Chinese pearl technicians have been arrested in French Polynesia trying to smuggle more than 900 stolen pearls out of the country.

A black pearl and its shell.

A black pearl and its shell. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

French border police said the arrests were made on New Year's Eve after a search at the airport in Tahiti revealed that the travellers had hundreds of black pearls in their bras.

The two women, who had been working at a pearl farm in French Polynesia, were bound for China via Japan.

After the discovery their employer lodged a complaint for theft with the police.

The stolen pearls are reportedly of high quality, with experts due to assess their value.