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Israel Diamond Exchange Expels Member For Buying Uncertified Zimbabwe Rough

Dec 27, 2010 4:57 AM   By Avi Krawitz
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RAPAPORT... The Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) has expelled David Vardi from trading in the bourse after he was accused of arranging to bring uncertified rough diamonds from Zimbabwe into Israel. IDE management met Monday morning to decide what course of action to take against Vardi. They wanted to send out the strongest possible message to the industry that such behavior would not be tolerated, a source told Rapaport News.

The Israel Tax Authority reported earlier that customs officials stopped Gilad Halachmi at Ben Gurion Airport with approximately $140,000 (NIS 500,000) worth of Zimbabwe rough that had not been Kimberley Process certified. Halachmi is not employed in the diamond industry and was recruited by Vardi to bring in the goods.

ITA reported that Vardi confirmed he had bought the diamonds from a Lebanese merchant while visiting Zimbabwe. Police arrested the two men but released them under certain restrictions.

Zimbabwe is in negotiations with the Kimberley Process to certify production from its Marange fields. There are currently no legal exports allowed from Marange, Zimbabwe, which has led to a steady flow of smuggled goods from the fields to the Mozambique border throughout the year.

Tags: Avi Krawitz, Avi Krawitz, Israel, Israel Diamond Exchange
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