No Criminal Proceedings Against Antwerp Diamond Bank

21/05/2015 11:55

On 18 June, the Antwerp Diamond Bank (ADB) will merge with KBC, bringing its 81-year history in the diamond world to an end. ADB has also been involved in a legal battle with the well-connected Tempelsman family, owners of the Lazare Kaplan International diamond group, which initiated criminal proceedings against ADB in Belgium (it already has legal proceedings against ADB ongoing in the US) on the grounds of breach of confidence, money laundering and fraud. The catalyst for these proceedings was the embezzlement of $135m in diamonds from Lazare Kaplan by former business partner Erez D., which had drastic consequences for Lazare Kaplan and which the Tempelsman family claims ADB knew about. A multi-million dollar criminal trial has been averted, however, on procedural grounds. The civil courts do not have jurisdiction in the case because it concerns forgery, which is a matter for the Assize Court (criminal trial court).