Belgian anti-money laundering legislation requires not only banks, but also diamond traders to identify their clients, verify their identity and conduct a risk analysis before proceeding to a transaction. In this regard, Belgium is stricter than other European Member States. To simplify this process, AWDC, the umbrella organization of the Antwerp diamond industry, has entered into a cooperation agreement with Bureau Van Dijk, a company specialized in gathering information on company data and shareholder structures, to make a free database available to diamond traders to simplify this identification process. AWDC spokeswoman Margaux Donckier says that, “Diamond traders are requested to implement a so-called client acceptance policy in which they investigate: 1) who the potential client is, and; 2) what risks are associated with the client’s profile and the nature of the business relationship. As a result of our collaboration with Bureau Van Dijk, from now on Antwerp diamond traders may easily search for all the necessary information in the database.”
In addition to identification data, the database also includes sanctions lists, PEP (Politically Exposed Persons) lists, media reports, FATF high-risk countries lists, etc. The database also includes identification data from some 250 million firms worldwide, including the company information of diamond-related firms in the most important diamond trade hubs and diamond producing countries such as Israel, India, the United States, China, Botswana, etc. Antwerp diamond industry members will be able to use the database at no charge after attending a dedicated seminar, the dates of which are to be confirmed soon.