RAPAPORT… Police in Zimbabwe have arrested more than 9,600 diamond panners and dealers in the country since the year began, according to a World News Connection report. Authorities have recovered about 1,912 diamonds and impounded 148 suspected stolen vehicles used by the dealers to illegally buy the gemstones.
The report suggested “diamonds worth quadrillions” of Zimbabwe dollars were collected, but it did not provide a dollar figure of the siezed gems. Zimbabwe’s currency has fallen in value so much that it is difficult to value against world currencies.
Authorities intensified efforts to curb diamond smuggling and mining at Chiadzwa in the Marange area of Manicaland.
The government declared Chiadzwa a protected area and houses the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation’s diamond plant.
“We have tightened security at the diamond fields and the public should be warned that there are 24-hour dog and horse patrols by armed officers. So we want to warn the public that we will not hesitate to use minimum force to apprehend any culprits,” police inspector Makomeke was quoted as saying.
He also appealed to the locals not to assist dealers and panners anyone involved in opperations faces arrest.
Additional reporting by Dialog NewsEdge.