Monday, July 11, 2011
Diamond smugglers hide behind language barrier
Interrogating the two African nationals caught on Friday with diamonds worth Rs 92 lakh turned out to be quite a task for the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), as the duo only speaks Portuguese, and a bit of French. The DRI had intercepted Maria Juana and Sow Dianguena with 1795.5 carats and 1629.5 carats diamonds respectively after they arrived from Rwanda at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport on Friday. While Juana is an Angolian, Dianguena is a Congo national.
“We have now got an interpreter to help us grill the two,” said a senior DRI official requesting anonymity. He added that only after sustained interrogation would the agency get clues on who the blood diamonds were smuggled for.
The DRI believe that the buyer could be a diamond trader, though it will be difficult to trace him down. “There are usually three to four conduits between the smuggler and the end buyer,” the official said.
Sources said that blood diamonds find ready buyers in Mumbai, as many traders involved in processing and manufacturing rough diamonds don’t insist on the Kimberley Process (KP) certificate, which is mandatory for rough diamonds to be imported.
“However, there are traders who go for blood diamonds as they come cheaper than officially imported diamonds,” a trader at Opera House, Mumbai’s largest diamond processing hub, said.