Police Stole Israeli Pilot’s Diamonds: Samkange

Israeli pilot instructor Shmuel Kainan Klein (58) is facing charges of unlawful possession of precious stones and that he did not have the licence to deal in diamonds. He was arrested at the Harare International Airport when he was checking-in on a South African Airways leaving the country on March 17.

The state alleges that Klein who is employed by CAL airlines of Israel as a pilot instructor wanted to leave the country on March 17 on a South African Airways airline wearing his pilot uniform with 1,7 kgs of diamonds which were weighed to 8,486 carats and worth $2 million.

But the defence said the police stole 2,000 carats of the precious stones.

“We are going to order for an investigation to ascertain what happened to the missing diamonds,” Samkange told the court.

Samkange told the investigating officer in the case, Aaron Chipadza that they will sue the police for the missing gems. Chipadza denied stealing the diamonds.

Klein has said he is an agent of an Israeli company, Masri diamonds and that is why he had the diamonds.

The prosecution alleges that the diamonds were found in the pilot’s bag wrapped in a plastic sealed with a plastic tape after Klein’s bag was searched by Wendy Gomo an official from the airport’s security department.

The court heard that the diamonds were taken to the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe for examination.

Klein was given $5,000 bail. He was ordered to surrender his passport and report twice at the Harare Central police station and to surrender title deeds of his immovable property as part of his bail conditions.

Zimbabwe discovered alluvial diamonds in the vast Marange diamonds fields has been reporting cases of diamond smuggling of late. Two Indians were arrested in the Asian country in possession of $2 million worth of Zimbabwean diamonds.

The Kimberley Process, a diamond certifying organ has given a green light for the country to sell its diamonds but international diamond groups have said Zimbabwe must stop selling its gems because of the massive leakage as well as lack of transparency.