Diamond trade still grappling with issues

After implementation of Kimberley Process (KP) and other measures, several issues were believed to be controlled. But recent indicators from various sources hint at the contrary.

 

In a news article dated 24th July, it is reported that a parcel of Zimbabwe diamonds worth millions of dollars was stolen at an ongoing auction at Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE). The parcel belonging to Jinan Diamond Mine was swapped by a buyer of Lebanese origin for another parcel containing inferior gemstones. It was only later when the officials from Jinan Diamond Mine noticed disparity in their parcels that they came to know about the incidence. Reportedly, footage from security cameras helped the authorities to identify the thief and supposedly recover the original stones.

 

This makes one wonder how can anyone just walk in and swap/ steal diamonds in an otherwise high-security zone of places like DDE. Zimbabwe diamonds (mostly conflict ones) have been a center of controversies since some time now owing to violence, mass killings, inhuman treatments, corruption and so on resulting in US & EU sanctions, KP’s 2-year embargo etc. The cash-strapped country is desperate to improve its financial condition and 7 miners from Zimbabwe have submitted over 960,000 carats of diamond parcels to be auctioned at DDE.

 

The recent incidence only throws light on the possibility of numerous such incidences happening globally that are either not identified or reported. This makes it very clear that the process, security and other measures professed by the industry are half-hearted, not completely implemented and ineffective.

 

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