Concerns over smuggling of Zimbabwean rough diamonds to South frica

Published: Wednesday 31 January 2007

The World Diamond Council has expressed concerns over reports that rough diamonds from Zimbabwe are being smuggled into South Africa for sale into the world market under fraudulent 'certification of origin'.

The certificate of origin is provided under the Kimberly Process to assure consumers that diamonds are not coming from areas in conflict and that the revenues earned are not financing war and human rights abuses.

The council's reaction was in response to recent local reports that diamonds from Marange are being sent to South Africa for fraudulent Kimberly certification. Reports also accused the government of using security forces to seize a Marange diamond mine in violation of a high court order. Eli Izhakoff, Council chairperson, said, "such illegal exports presents a clear threat to the integrity of the legitimate export process" and urged nations who are signatory to the accord "to resolve this situation and protect legitimate industry." The allegations, if found true, could lead to the blacklisting of Zimbabwean diamonds.

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