China Sonangal Denies Ever Buying Rough Diamonds From Zimbabwe

140 95 Rapaport News

RAPAPORT… China Sonangal, which alleged was part of a diamond-smuggling operation in Zimbabwe, denied the charge of purchasing rough diamonds from Zimbabwe and added that it had not purchased any diamonds from the country.

The head of legal services for China Sonangal, Wee Jee Kin, told the Zimbabwe Independent that while it is true that the firm is involved in the diamond business, among others,  its diamonds only come from ”our jointly-held Catoca mines in Angola and none are from Zimbabwe.”

In what 100Reporters called a ”flying hotel room,” an Airbus (tail code VP-BEX) ferries businessman Sam Pa (Xu Jinghua) at least once a month from Harare to South Africa, Hong Kong and other trading centers, and the aircraft is allegedly  permitted unfettered access to South Africa  without any cargo inspection required.  The plane had been registered in Bermuda to Planair until September, at which time it was re-registered as Hong Kong Jet (Bermuda) to the HNA Group, according to 100Reporters.

Kin said the two carriers are rival operators and that his firm does not hold any shares or control either of the private couriers.

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