India: Minister Finds Conflict Diamonds Mix into Surat Trade

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RAPAPORT… India’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has warned that conflict diamonds are being smuggled into Surat, the country’s main cutting and polishing center, the daily Indian Express reported.

The newspaper quoted a DRI official as saying that, given India’s status as one of the largest processor and exporters of precious stones, the country has always been suspected of processing some of these [conflict] diamonds. “The city’s cutting and polishing industry is always under the scanner,” the official said.

The DRI, which is responsible for monitoring economic crimes in India including smuggling and fraud, reported that it has information about some diamond traders in Surat bringing in crude ‘blood diamonds’ and selling them to reputed firms after processing and polishing them.

The diamonds are subsequently exported with Kimberley Process Certification, the report said.

“These traders and firms are under our scanner and our investigations are on,” M. Michael, DRI additional director general told the Express.

Another DRI officer told the newspaper that the agency has intelligence reports that conflict diamonds are entering the Indian market from trading centers in Antwerp, London, and Israel.

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