Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) has raised the alarm and is stepping up its efforts to identify and confiscate conflict diamonds, following the discovery of a shipment likely containing stones from the Central African Republic (CAR).
“AWDC calls upon all diamond centres to implement the same strict controls on import and export procedures and KP requirements,” the foundation said.
“It is clear the Kimberley Process—a unique co-operation between governments, industry, and civil society—can only be a powerful tool if all KP participants take responsibility in the fight against conflict diamonds.”
In June 2013, the KP issued an export ban on rough diamonds originating from CAR. In addition to strict controls of every shipment that enters or leaves Antwerp, AWDC’s diamond office compares parcel contents with the so-called ‘production footprints’ of mining operations in conflict areas.
Rough diamonds that are imported legally in Antwerp via other diamond trade hubs are cross-checked on typical characteristics, such as colour, assortment, and size using visual material from typical rough production from a certain area, such as CAR.
“By implementing these strict controls, Antwerp aims to give a strong signal and to prohibit conflict diamonds from entering the Antwerp market,” AWDC said.
“According to a recent report from the Enough Project, diamonds from CAR are still illegally entering the market in certain countries. These conflict diamonds enter the legal circuit mostly through forged KP certificates that are insufficiently controlled via other diamond hubs.”