UK trade unions call on jewellery retailers Asprey, Harrods, Leviev to sever trading links with Burma (includes company responses)

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15 October 2007

Top jewellers told to cut trade links with Burma

Author: Andrew Taylor, Financial Times

Trade unions yesterday called on three of London's top jewellery retailers - Asprey, Harrods and Leviev - to sever all trading links with Burma following EU trade sanctions announced earlier this week...The TUC [Trades Union Congress] said yesterday that seven UK-based companies that have previously traded with Burma in products covered by the sanctions...They included three small timber companies and a mining finance house, as well as the three jewellers...Harrods said last night: "Needless to say, Harrods does not purchase rubies itself, some of which do indeed emanate from Burma...Asprey said: "We have never bought any stones/jewels directly from Burma and our suppliers no longer deal with Burma as far as we are concerned...Leviev said,..."Leviev will issue a letter to Guy Rider, the [TUC] general secretary, to confirm that Leviev has no business links to Burma..."

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1 October 2007

Leviev: We have never dealt in precious stones from Myanmar

Author: Navit Zomer, [Israel]

The Leviev Group does not deal in diamonds or precious stones from Myanmar and all of the jewels available for purchase in their stores have been acquired from collections that are dozens of years old, a spokesperson for the company said...This announcement was made in response to an article published by the London Sunday Times that claimed it is possible to purchase rubies from Myanmar in the company's store in London...Burma is currently undergoing a bout of inner turmoil as its citizens protest for more rights from the military junta government in power. According to the Sunday Times, one of the ways that the military dictatorship in Myanmar finances itself is through the sale of precious stones...

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