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HRD Completes Review, Cuts Ties With Three Firms

Forensic Audit Strengthened the Lab, Says Brys

Apr 27, 2012 8:54 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... HRD Antwerp's board of directors received the results of an internal review of the diamond laboratory following allegations of improprieties in March. Based upon the results of that review, the board determined that remedial actions taken by management were satisfactory and proceeded to pass the findings on to judicial authorities for further examination regarding possible legal infringements. Furthermore, as part of the findings,  HRD asked three diamond firms, which it did not name, to ''clear their account'' with the lab. Overall, the board declared that a quality control review concluded on a positive note.

''We have been able to localize the causes and sources of the grading improprieties and have found that it solely involves only a few individuals and companies,'' said HRD Antwerp’s general manager, Georges Brys.

''HRD Antwerp has proven it has the skills and the corporate will to investigate its own possible breaches of the rules and that it can take effective actions to prevent recurrence and to reassure the market of the total integrity of its HRD Antwerp brand,'' he said.

Brys added that HRD Antwerp’s own investigation was completely focused on its internal quality controls and staff adherence to strict grading rules. ''All staff members have received unequivocal instructions to fully cooperate,'' he said.

When the issue first came to light, the boards of both the Antwerp World Diamond Centre and HRD Antwerp appointed an ad-hoc committee of prominent industry players to guide the internal review and engaged an outside firm to perform an independent forensic audit on the diamond lab. Now, with the internal investigation completed, the ad-hoc committee has been disbanded.

According to HRD's statement,  Brys believes that swift action to address the issue strengthened the organization and provided a boost to its professional standing. “Our policy for absolutely zero tolerance to any possible irregularity remains firmly rooted in our culture. And this is based on the adherence of the management and staff to the strict ISO and other internal rules. We can now go back to business as usual -– strengthened and more determined to give our stakeholders the highest-quality product, which will instill trust and confidence in every diamond transaction which carries our HRD Antwerp certificate,'' Brys said.

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Tags: Antwerp, diamonds, HRD, investigation, Jeff Miller, lab
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