Press Release: The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) released the following statement with regard to a news article that appeared in Le Soir today, claiming that a member of the board, Santosh Kedia, is involved in what has been called tax free banking havens or ''Offshore Leaks.''
The AWDC said, ''Today, we have taken note of the press, communicating that a member of our board of directors, Mr. Santosh Kedia, allegedly would be involved in the 'Offshore Leaks' - dossier. In the interest of the integrity of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre as organization and the industry as a whole, Kedia has taken the initiative to withdraw from the AWDC's board of directors, awaiting the outcome of a potential investigation.
''As the representative organization of the Antwerp diamond sector, AWDC will aim all its efforts at the continuing strive for a transparent and clean diamond trade.''
For many years, AWDC has been striving for a transparent and clean diamond trade. Together with the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF) AWDC has contributed to the development of diamond-specific international anti-money laundering rules and regulations, and their implementation in Antwerp.
In collaboration with the European Commission, AWDC worked on the development and implementation of measures aimed at combatting the trade in conflict diamonds.
For more than 15 years, AWDC has been collaborating with the Belgian tax administration on a workable and efficient tax controlling mechanism for the diamond sector.
AWDC will continue to work towards the further development of the international diamond trade in Antwerp, in close collaboration with the international, federal, Flemish and local authorities.
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