Sources from the HRD confirmed that four gemologists were asked to resign this week and that an internal investigation is currently being carried out. An official statement released today stated that the graders left ''due to elements that have triggered an immediate internal, ongoing investigation concerning possible inappropriate conduct.''
According to statement issued, ''HRD Antwerp is fully committed to take appropriate actions in line with the results of the internal investigation which is still ongoing.''
Rumors have been swirling in Antwerp that the four in question were actively involved in bribery concerning the valuation of an undisclosed number of diamonds. Reportedly, five diamond firms could have been directly involved in the issue.
Georges Brys, the director of HRD Antwerp Lab, explained to Rapaport News, ''Contrarily to what may have been said in the press, the police aren’t at all part of our internal investigation, they aren’t involved yet at this stage. Obviously we questioned our legal department, but we must assess the situation, and then inform our board and the ISO committee. It’s only after those actions, that we’ll be able to take all necessary measures. We can‘t just fire people without informing the unions and giving them a sound motive.''
Brys concluded, ''I must insist that so far, all we have against our former graders is that they made a professional mistake. We have nothing to hide, and we’re not trying to hide anything. All we’re doing is making sure we know the circumstances and the facts.''