AWDC: Amnesty International Report on CAR 'Ignores Antwerp Controls'

Finance and Trade
30/09/2015 09:51

Despite a visit by an Amnesty International team to the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), including the Antwerp Diamond Office which supervises all imports and exports of diamonds to and from Antwerp, and was able to witness how the strict controls on imports of rough are conducted in Antwerp, the AWDC said it "cannot but conclude the report contains factual errors in this regard." The report ignores the fact the Antwerp Diamond Office implements a 100% strict control mechanism for each import or export of diamonds, which led to the interception and seizure of two shipments, containing rough diamonds potentially originating from CAR, the AWDC said in a statement. "The very moment these suspicious parcels were presented for import at the Antwerp Diamond Office, they were immediately intercepted and blocked by the experts of the Federal Public Service Economy, within the Diamond Office."

"Consequently, the two shipments that were blocked in Antwerp never entered the market, contrary to what the report seems to suggest, a judicial inquiry was initiated and the companies involved lost their license to trade in Antwerp. Moreover, the fact that these two shipments were intercepted, was one of the reasons why the UN imposed sanctions on certain entities later on. In conclusion, the AWDC regrets the comments, summarized in the above statement, which AWDC made on fragments of the draft report sent for revision, were not taken into consideration by Amnesty International in the final report."