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Corruption WatchNews

Indian diamond barons in connivance with a top government official in illegal diamond exports

By Business Reporter – Monday 22 June 2020

HARARE (Mining Index) – ILLEGAL Indian diamond barons are allegedly working in cahoots with a top government official smuggling diamonds from Zimbabwe to various Asian markets.

Allegations at hand reveal that a number of Indians are conniving with a senior government official, who endorses the diamond package with an official government stamp before appending his signature to allow free passage of diamonds out of the country.

“It is disheartening to note that our diamonds leave the country through unorthodox means. Imagine the Indians, they take the diamonds to a very senior government official. The government official signs on the parcel and puts his stamp. You know a parcel carrying a government stamp plus a signature from a high office is immune to security searches,” said a source privy to the developments.

Foreign nationals are benefiting more from Zimbabwean diamonds, with the Chinese, Russians, Lebanese and Indians topping the list.

The Lebanese and Indian diamond trade remain shoddy as most of them are unlicensed by government through the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ).

Illicit trade of Zimbabwean diamonds by foreign nationals will not bring any positive development if Zimbabwe is to be serious about economic prosperity.

African countries like Botswana have benefited immensely from their diamond revenue which has seen positive developments taking place in that country.

With the Lebanese driving illegal diamond trade in Manicaland, home to the Chiadzwa Diamond Fields, the province remains backward and underdeveloped while diamonds are being looted by foreign nationals.

Sadly, the Zimbabwean diamond map shows the Chinese and Russians acquired at least two thirds of Zimbabwean diamond concessions.

The Diamond Policy of December 2018 approved only four companied to explore, mine, process, valuate, market, beneficiate and value add; including issues of capacity building, security and law enforcement.

Any other entity or person with diamond mining title shall approach any one of the four approved companies for Joint Venture arrangements. ENDS//

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