Following a three-year investigation into illegal diamond trading, Johannesburg (South Africa) police report arresting nine men and one woman in the northern and western Cape on September 20.
Captain Cherelle Ehlers said the suspects –some of whom are “well known” in the diamond industry– were arrested during a coordinated Operation 2081. Investigators have been undercover since May 2004 with the intention of gathering information on the illegal diamond trade.
The dealers were arrested in Kimberly, Port Nolloth, and in Cape Town. The police seized diamonds, evidence of illegal transactions, documentation and cash from their homes and workplaces.
More arrests are likely Ehlers said and suspects will appear in court on September 22 on charges of illegal possession of and dealing in diamonds.
Additional reporting by Dialog Newsedge.