RAPAPORT… India’s Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has released a consignment of rough diamonds worth $22.7 million (INR 1.20 billion) seized from Arjav Diamonds (India) Pvt. Ltd., the Times of India reported. The goods were released after the company and the Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) proved their legality and journey from Zimbabwe to Dubai to India.
The report noted that the consignment belonged to the Surat Rough Diamond Sourcing India Ltd. (SRSDIL) and was designated for distribution to member diamantaires, but the goods were being kept at Surat-based Arjav Diamonds, owned by Ashit Mehta, who is also the chairman of SRSDIL.
GJEPC verified all the details regarding the goods and submitted the documents to DRI showing the legal entry of the consignment to India within the formalities of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.
“The council had assisted the DRI with facts and figures to investigate. We commend DRI for its efforts in keeping illicit diamonds out of the Indian system,” the report quoted GJEPC’s chairman, Rajiv Jain, as saying. “We are ever vigilant against the trade of illicit diamonds in India. The council was surprised to note [that] this incident happened with the prominent companies, SRSDIL and Arjav Diamonds.”
DRI officials raided the premises of Arjav Diamonds on November 30 and seized 500,000 carats of rough diamonds from Zimbabwe with an estimated value of $22.7 million (INR 1.2 billion). The raid came after a tip off that the goods were bought from Zimbabwe’s controversial Marange diamond field via Dubai without following the KPCS requirements.
“We are happy that both our companies have come out clean in the whole issue,” company officials told Times of India. “We will continue to do the due diligence with regards to maintenance of procedural formalities of KP and import-export regulations of the country,” the report cited company officials as saying.