Prison sentences for diamond dealers and officials

Summary

A court in Antwerp has found an official of the Diamond High Council guilty of producing fraudulent certificates of quality

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A former official of the Diamond High Council (HRD) in Antwerp was sentenced to 18 months in prison, half of it suspended, after being found guilty of issuing fraudulent certificates to allow diamonds to be sold for more than they were worth. Three diamond dealers and one company were also found guilty and sentenced.

The man worked in HRD’s certification office, which determines the value of particular stones. The court heard how he issued fraudulent certificates for 119 gems during an 18-month period between 2010 and 2012. He was paid by three diamond dealers a fee of €200 for each one – a total of €23,800.

One dealer made sure that the stones came across the desk of the official for adjudication. He received 30% of the price difference between the lower certificate and the one issued – a total of €20,047. The other two dealers took €745,000 in total, according to the prosecutor’s calculations. All three sums are forfeited, the court ruled.

The three traders were sentenced to 30 months, half of it suspended, as well as a €30,000 in fines (in addition to the forfeiture) and a ban on trading, also suspended. One of the trader’s companies was fined €60,000. 

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Diamond sector

Antwerp is the world’s leading hub for diamond trade. For more than five centuries, diamonds have been bought, sold and cut here. The Antwerp diamond quarter has weathered revolutions, wars, occupations and, more recently, growing competition from diamond centres in emerging countries.
Bourses - Antwerp boasts four diamond trading exchanges, making Belgium the only country with this many bourses.
Antwerp Cut - The art of polishing diamonds was invented in the city.
On foot - The diamond quarter consists of two pedestrian-only streets close to Central Station.
84

percent of the world’s rough diamonds pass through the city

1 447

first record of a diamond trade in Antwerp

1 800

diamond dealers