Irish man's heartbreaking story to explain why he swallowed diamond ring fails to convince Turkish prosecutor
Ian Campbell resting at the Turkish hospital
An Irish tourist has told a heartbreaking story about his wife to explain why he attempted to steal an expensive diamond ring in Turkey’s southwest, but a prosecutor demanded the court to arrest the man.
Ian Campbell, who was holidaying in the southwestern Turkish province of Muğla’s Marmaris district, was caught on Oct. 4 after he swallowed a diamond ring worth $40,000 in a jewelry store.
The 54-year-old tourist was taken to a hospital by the police, where he has been trying to give the ring back “by natural means” for more than 24 hours as of noon on Oct. 5.
Turkish media has been tracking the ring’s “journey” almost in real time in the past two days, as Campbell ate, drank, ran and jumped around the hospital corridors with a police escort.
The ring was only 13.5 centimeters away from ejection from his bowels, according to a doctor quoted by Demirören News Agency on Oct. 5.
Campbell, who had initially rejected any wrongdoing despite video and x-ray evidence, ultimately admitted he had attempted to steal the ring in the police testimony he gave through a translator at the hospital.
“I’ve been coming to Marmaris for holiday for a week every year since 2004. I was forced to retire in Ireland after a workplace accident I experienced seven years ago,” the Irish man reportedly said.
“I lost my wife in a traffic accident in Ireland. Her body could not be removed from the car, which fell into a lake, for days after the accident. Her diamond ring, our wedding ring, could not be found despite a search operation in the lake. This incident caused my obsession for diamond rings,” he added.
“Whenever I see a diamond ring on display at jewelry shops, my wife comes to my mind. I feel a strong urge to take those rings, especially the ones with higher carat diamonds,” Campbell said.
Campbell, who was apparently exhausted by his attempts to return the ring, slept in his hospital room on the morning of Oct. 5.
After more than 24 hours, the ring was still in Campbell's body.
The police suggested to remove the ring with a colonoscopy, but the prosecutor rejected it citing health risks, and instead demanded the court to arrest the man.
Meanwhile, police searched the hotel room that Campbell was staying at and found an English magazine on diamond rings.
Campbell was also seen on security camera footage while staring in the display windows of jewelry shops in the neighborhood.