In a press release, Sodiam C.A.R. - a diamond buying company registered in the Central African Republic - has responded to Amnesty International's report of September 29, "Chains of Abuse", which uses CAR as a case study to examine the diamond supply chain. The report includes criticisms of Sodiam C.A.R.'s activities since the suspension of the Kimberley Process in the CAR, alleging that the company failed to ensure that all the diamonds it purchased were acquired from lawful sources, and that there is a "high risk" that they purchased diamonds that have funded armed groups. Consequently, Amnesty suggested Sodiam's entire stock of diamonds should be confiscated. Sodiam C.A.R. spokesman Filip Van Laere rejected these criticisms, arguing that the company implemented due diligence at all times and has acted within the requirements of the Kimberley Process. He said, "the suggestion that Sodiam C.A.R.'s entire stock might be confiscated is outrageous."
Van Laere commented further: "We regret that Amnesty's report... fails to take account of the very great care taken by Sodiam C.A.R. to make sure that it only ever purchased goods from sources having no connection with armed groups... It was clear that Amnesty had already written its report before it even asked us for our input and that it was unwilling to allow the evidence that our lawyers produced to deflect it from the conclusions we feel it had already decided to reach... Sodiam C.A.R. has conducted itself at all times in accordance with the Kimberley Process... It made samples available to the KP to enable the latter to develop a geochemical fingerprint for the CAR and also arranged for an independent audit of the stock it purchased during the period of the suspension." This audit is published on Sodiam C.A.R.'s website, http://sodiam.cf.
The press release is available in annex.