Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Relations between Thailand and Saudi Arabia were poisoned 30 years ago by the "Blue Diamond Affair"

AP today:

Thailand’s prime minister arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for the first high-level meeting since relations between the nations soured three decades ago over a sensational jewelry heist that led to a diplomatic row and string of mysterious killings.

The official visit by [the Thai Prime Minister] signals the nations are seeking to thaw ties


a Thai worker, stole [200 pounds]  of jewelry and other valuable gems from the palace of Prince Faisal bin Fahd, where he was employed as a servant.


[A Royal Thai Police Lieutenant-General] flew to Saudi Arabia to return the stolen items. However, the Saudi Arabian authorities discovered that the blue diamond was missing and that about half of the gems returned were fake.

In Bangkok, rumours spread in the local press that charity gala photos captured a number of government wives wearing diamond necklaces resembling those stolen from the Saudi palace


a Saudi Arabian businessman close to the Saudi royal family, travelled to Bangkok to investigate on his own. He went missing on 12 February 1990 and is presumed to have been murdered. Prior to his disappearance, on 4 January 1989, a Saudi diplomat was murdered in Si Lom, Bang Rak District, Bangkok. On 1 February 1990, three more Saudi diplomats were murdered