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conceptual mapping >  democracy and governance  > Fugitives and phantoms : the diamond exporters of Brazil

Partnership Africa Canada (PAC)

Fugitives and phantoms : the diamond exporters of Brazil

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> Occasional Paper n° 13, March 2006

Brazil’s diamond sector is in crisis. Three of the country’s largest diamond producers and exporters have been arrested and are now facing an array of criminal charges. A joint task force of Brazil’s Federal Police, Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office and Internal Revenue Service have alleged that the three are behind a mega scheme for smuggling diamonds using fraudulent Kimberley Certificates.

According to police, the smuggled diamonds come partly from domestic garimpeiro production, partly from Indian reserves where diamond mining is outlawed, and partly from Africa. The head of Brazil’s National Department of Mineral Production (DNPM) in Minas Gerais - responsible for issuing Kimberley Certificates - has also been arrested. He too, is facing charges, and has been fired from his post as Minas Gerais director. Diamond exports have been suspended while Brazil’s Federal Police investigate the fraudulent export of nearly US$3 million dollars worth of diamonds by Hassan Ahmad, owner of a Belo Horizonte firm called Primeira Gema. This fraud, involving Brazil’s Kimberley Certificate, was first uncovered by Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) in May 2005.

date of on-line publication : 8 February 2007

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