ANGOLA: Diamonds Worth $1 Million Smuggled Daily, U.N. Says

Author: UN Wire, Published on: 16 October 2001

A U.N. panel monitoring Security Council sanctions against Angola's UNITA rebels yesterday issued a report claiming that $1 million worth of diamonds are smuggled out of the war-torn country every day, with the rebel group responsible for a quarter to a third of the total (Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press, Oct. 16). "It appears that the Antwerp and South African markets are two key points of sale or transit for embargoed diamonds, Israel being used as a laundering route for some imports," said the monitoring group, which is headed by Chilean Ambassador to the United Nations Juan Larrain (U.N. Newservice, Oct. 15). The Democratic Republic of the Congo and neighboring Republic of the Congo were also mentioned as "vitally important routes for smugglers."...The Security Council imposed a ban on rebel diamond exports in 1998 in an attempt to halt UNITA's proceeds from diamonds, which have fueled the country's 25-year civil war.

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