Police from Toowoomba Stock and Rural Crime Investigation Squad acted quickly upon receipt of information regarding the theft of a quantity of gallstones from cattle slaughtered at a nearby abattoir.
Investigations revealed the stones were stolen over a period of at least six months and believed to be of considerable value. Detectives executed a search warrant on a Cranley address and recovered the stones. A 38-year-old man has been issued with a notice to appear in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court on Tuesday June 23 in regards to the theft of the stones.
Gallstones can form in a variety of shapes and sizes. They may be round, egg shaped, square or pyramid shaped or as a tube. The value of individual stones is determined by dryness, colour, texture, size and whole and broken pieces. Whole, smooth, lustrous, golden specimens attract the highest price. Dark and pitted stones as well as stones with calcium inclusions (white) are of reduced value. It is understood that quality stones may reach values of around $20,000 per kilogram.
Contrary to popular belief, gallstones are not an aphrodisiac. They are used extensively in oriental medicine, particularly in the treatment of hepatitis and other liver and gallbladder related ailments.