Proposal Adds Trafficking, Smuggling to Diamond Act

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(Rapaport…January 27, 2006) According to the United States’ Federal Registry, the courts were given new sentencing guidelines for a number of issues; but the only applicable amendment to the diamond trade concerns the Clean Diamond Trade Act of 2003.

The act created a new offense in 2003 (19 U.S.C. 3901) related to the import and export of rough diamonds (or any transaction by a United States citizen anywhere,) which results in the evading or avoiding set-forth prohibitions of conflict diamonds. The statutory maximum prison sentence is 10 years.

The proposed addition to the act adds section 2T3.1 (Evading Import Duties or Restrictions, Smuggling, Receiving or Trafficking in Smuggled Property.) It is intended to specifically indicate that uncertified diamonds are contraband covered by 2T3.1.

According to the registry, “This offense involves importing conflict diamonds into the United States for profits used towards the overthrow or subverting of legitimate governments in Sierra Leone, Angola, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” The rule acknowledges the legitimacy of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, and adds that violations apply when diamonds are not certified by the scheme first.

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