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Exit Strategy – Diamond Laundering – Part Two

Diamonds have long been used by criminals, terrorists and other unsavory types as a form of currency.  Unlike money, it escapes detection under money-laundering rules, and is easier to conceal. 

That’s one reason the Kimberly Process was initiated by South African diamond-producing states. They met in Kimberly, South Africa with a goal of thwarting the conflict or “blood” diamond trade, to ensure diamonds trades were not funding violence.

Today Kimberly process diamonds account for 99.8% of all diamonds traded.   The United Nations General Assembly adopted a landmark resolution supporting the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), setting out the requirements for controlling rough diamond production and trade.

Members certify rough diamonds as ‘conflict-free’, and participating states must meet stringent legislation, enact strict export, import and internal controls and commit to transparency and exchange of statistical data. Trade is restricted to other members only, and all international shipments must have a KP certificate.  Effectively, legitimate diamond cutting houses can only buy KP diamonds.   

The Kimberly Process certification scheme has dramatically reduced the flow of conflict diamonds, and has also benefited developing countries by stabilizing economic development and reducing corruption.   

Of course criminals will always find a way around it. Find out how in Exit Strategy - book one in the Katerina Carter fraud investigator suspense series.