Monday, August 15, 2011
Marange diamonds seized in India
Indian police have arrested a Democratic Republic of Congo national after he was found with 10 000 carats of diamonds smuggled from Zimbabwe’s Marange area.
According to the Times newspaper, Jean Tshimaga was arrested after arriving in Mumbai from Kinshasa on Tuesday.
He was caught by officials from India’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) red handed. Tshimaga allegedly told the officials that he bought the diamonds in Kinshasa.
The diamonds that were traced to the Marange controversial fields did not have Kimberly Process certification.
In April, the DRI arrested two Indians with 48 000 carats of diamonds from Marange that were brought via Mozambique and Kenya to Mumbai.
India’s Germs and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), which is the Asian country’s import and export authority recently instructed traders to stop trading in Zimbabwe’s diamonds.
It also asked relevant departments to keep a close watch on the importation of diamonds without the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) certificates.
The latest arrests will put into question Zimbabwe’s claims that it has adequately dealt with the problem of smuggling in Marange.
Smuggling and alleged human rights violations are some of the reasons Western countries have opposed the certification of Zimbabwe diamonds under the KPCS.
The restriction by the GJEPC shows that India considers the Marange germs to be blood diamonds.
Blood diamonds, also known as conflict diamonds or war diamonds, are stones mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency.
The sale of such diamonds is banned globally.