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India Approves Release of Seized Marange Diamonds

Aug 23, 2011 6:49 AM   By Dilipp S Nag
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RAPAPORT... India  formally approved the release of Marange diamonds that were seized by Indian customs officials after goods arrived in the country from Dubai.

''Formally, it is done by the government and the parcel will be released,'' Rajiv Jain, chairman of the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), told Rapaport News.

The Kimberley Process's United Arab Emirates (UAE) office this past month allowed export of 14 packets of Marange diamonds held in Dubai since November 2010. But Indian customs officials seized the goods after it reached in the country, pending final approval from the government.

Jain stated that most of these diamonds were purchased by diamantaires in Surat. These diamonds could be worth more than $100 million, but the final estimate on the total value is yet to be ascertained, he added. The Times of India cited unnamed sources saying the goods were worth about $153 million (INR 7 billion).

These diamonds were originally shipped to the UAE from Zimbabwe after the Kimberley Process intercessional meeting in Jerusalem, on November 1, 2010, but before the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme imposed an export ban on Marange diamonds 16 days later.

The approval for exporting these packets from Dubai was the result of deliberations in the Kimberley Process working group on monitoring at the recent intercessional meeting held in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Tags: diamonds, Dilipp S Nag, Dubai, Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, GJEPC, Marange
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