Diamond Money Laundering Focus of International Meeting in The Hague

Finance and Trade
09/06/2016 08:24

Representatives of major law enforcement organizations and other groups from around the world, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Europol, Interpol, the Netherlands police, the U.S. State Dept., and the World Customs Organization, will be gathering in The Hague from June 28 to 29 for a two-day meeting on the role diamonds might play in money laundering and terrorist financing. The meeting “will focus on the exploitation of the diamond trade and diamonds being used as a vehicle for trade based money laundering, terrorist financing, and similar nefarious purposes,” said an invitation, JCK reported. “The forum will provide a platform for information sharing, networking, and building law enforcement partnerships that will lead to the identification, dismantling, and disruption of criminal networks associated with the illicit trade in diamonds.”

FBI supervisory special agent Eric B. Ives says that law enforcement bodies have been gradually realizing that diamonds are vulnerable to exploitation by criminal elements. “Historically, the first sort of recognition of a problem would be [former Liberian President] Charles Taylor, recently convicted of war crimes,” says Ives, who also heads global threat financing for transnational organized crime, Eastern hemisphere section. The forum also aims to allow law enforcement to spot “supply chain anomalies” that are indicators of illicit trade, Ives says. “One of the greatest criticisms of law enforcement after 9/11 was a failure of imagination. We are trying to be more imaginative in how we track how money moves around the world.”