The two men booked for it confessed that the diamonds came from Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond field. Following this, the Centre for Research and Development (CRD), a leading non-governmental organization in Zimbabwe, that investigates and exposes high level corruption by government officials and gross human rights violation in Zimbabwe’s diamond fields, has called upon Mpofu to publicly apologize for the incident and resign from his post.
The CRD released the statement on Thursday on the website of Rapaport, an international diamond consultancy company, which fixes diamond prices every week. The CRD has stated there is a continued loss of revenue due to weak security throughout the diamond supply chain and unlicensed diamond mining activities, mainly due to Mpofu’s apparent failure to implement the joint work plan developed by Zimbabwe and the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).
The CRD said that large quantities of rough diamonds without Kimberley Process (KP) certificates intercepted by the DRI in Surat suggested that this could be the work of a syndicate involving well placed people with tremendous power in the mining companies and in government.
“The fact that government was not aware or pretended not to be aware of any missing diamonds despite such heavy losses reveals shocking levels of incompetency and corruption,” the group stated.
Similar smuggling incidents have been reported recently, including a consignment of 4,000 carats of Marange rough diamond was seized in Dubai in September-2010. Other diamond parcels suspected to have originated from Marange were also seized in Israel and Belgium last year.
In the preliminary investigation, the duo arrested by DRI had revealed that they brought the blood diamond consignment of 48,000 carats worth Rs 10.17 crore from Zimbabwe via Manicaland, Mosambique, Kenya and finally reached Mumbai. The CRD has urged the Zimbabwean parliament and cabinet to institute a thorough investigation into the continued smuggling of diamonds from Zimbabwe and asked the Southern African Development Community regions, mainly Mozambique and South Africa, to emulate India by taking tough action against individuals and syndicates caught in illegal possession of Marange diamonds.