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Zimbabwe: New report by Global Witness critical of the role of Zimbabwe's political elites & security sector in "disappearing Marange diamonds"; says international diamond companies complicit

Global Witness has released a new report which uncovered new evidence that reveals how Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), the military, notorious smugglers, and political elites, all allegedly gained control or ownership of companies operating in Zimbabwe’s diamond fields. The report examines five major mining companies that have recently operated in the Marange diamond fields and may continue to hold a stake in its future: Kusena Diamonds, Anjin Investments, Jinan Mining, Diamond Mining Corporation (DMC), and Mbada Diamonds. It details steps taken to conceal their finances, shield their operations from public scrutiny, and hide their ultimate beneficiaries and owners. The five companies were in 2016 amalgamated into one company, Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) whose operations Global Witness says remains opaque. The report says that despite the role the security forces is alleged to have played in subverting Zimbabwe’s democracy and perpetrating serious human rights abuses, including in Marange diamond fields, Zimbabwean diamonds are traded freely on international markets with the Kimberley Process’ seal of approval. Rather than encouraging transparency and reforms, international demand has delivered a market for Zimbabwe’s diamonds. In a statement responding to the report by Global Witness, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre denied that Zimbabwean diamonds sold by its auction in 2013 and 2014 breached European sanctions.

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Report
24 September 2017

"An inside job Zimbabwe: the state, the security forces, & a decade of disappearing diamonds"

Author: Global Witness (UK)

...This report examines five major mining companies that have recently operated in the Marange diamond fields and may continue to hold a stake in its future: Kusena Diamonds, Anjin Investments, Jinan Mining, Diamond Mining Corporation (DMC), and Mbada Diamonds. It details steps taken to conceal their finances, shield their operations from public scrutiny, and hide their ultimate beneficiaries and owners...[T]he government’s effort to amalgamate the industry into a single new Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) is stuttering...The ZCDC’s operations have also been beset by the same secrecy that has grown endemic to Zimbabwe’s diamond industry, while some of its proposed shareholders appear drawn from the very same cast of characters that have charted Marange’s history to date…Global Witness has uncovered new evidence that reveals how Zimbabwe’s feared Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), the military, notorious smugglers, and well-heeled political elites, all gained control or ownership of companies operating in Zimbabwe’s diamond fields. Despite the role the security forces have played in subverting Zimbabwe’s democracy and perpetrating serious human rights abuses, Zimbabwean diamonds are traded freely on international markets with the Kimberley Process’ seal of approval. Rather than encouraging transparency and reforms, international demand has delivered a market for Zimbabwe’s diamonds.This report has followed Zimbabwe’s diamond millions from the mines of Marange to scrapyards in South Africa; the skyscrapers of Dubai and Hong Kong; and to the anonymous companies of secrecy jurisdictions from Mauritius to the British Virgin Islands...

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Article
24 September 2017

New NGO report says Zimbabwe's ruling elite linked to "disappearing diamonds"

Author: Al Jazeera (Qatar)

"Zimbabwe ruling elite linked to 'disappearing diamonds', 11 Sept 2017

In a report published on Monday, London-based Global Witness accused Zimbabwe's Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) spy agency of holding a concealed stake in Kusena Diamonds - a company active in the Marange diamond fields in eastern Zimbabwe. The group's report, An Inside Job, suggests diamonds produced by the CIO-linked company were traded in Belgium's Antwerp and the UAE's Dubai - two of the world's leading precious stone marketplaces - and may have funded political repression. The report accused "Zimbabwe's highly partisan and oppressive military" of having significant links to another Marange diamond company, Anjin...In a statement, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre denied on Monday that Zimbabwean diamonds sold by its auction in 2013 and 2014 breached European sanctions.

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Article
24 September 2017

Zimbabwe's ruling elite using funds coming from diamond exports to finance operations allegedly linked to human-rights abuses, report reveals

Author: Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.com (USA)

"Zimbabwe diamonds backing country’s secret police — report", 12 Sept 2017

Zimbabwe's ruling elite is using funds coming from diamond exports to finance its Central Intelligence Organization (CIO), accused of several human-rights abuses while helping President Robert Mugabe to remain in power for decades, a report shows. According to anticorruption campaign group Global Witness, the country’s diamonds are channelled through Dubai, Belgium and Mozambique by a complex network of cross-owned firms based various places including Hong Kong, the British Virgin Islands, South Africa and Mauritius. What those companies have in common, the London-based group said in the report, is business connections with either the Zimbabwe government or its military, which have been secretly profiting from the trade in a nation where three-fourths of the population lives in poverty.

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Item
24 September 2017

Zimbabwe’s vast diamond riches exploited by secretive political and military elites, report shows

Author: Global Witness (UK)

Powerful military and political elites and security forces have controlled and secretly exploited Zimbabwe’s once promising diamond sector, while concealing the scale of the loss to its people, a new report from Global Witness reveals. ‘An Inside Job’ examines five of the major mining companies that recently operated in the Marange diamond region. The report shows how companies have concealed their finances and shielded their operations from public scrutiny, hiding significant stakes in these companies held by the feared Central Intelligence Agency, the Zimbabwean military and the government itself. This raises concerns that diamond money is secretly financing institutions responsible for oppressing the Zimbabwean people. Alongside the report Global Witness has released a never before shared map, finally revealing the details of company concessions in Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond fields. It has also produced a short film featuring members of local communities describing the impacts of Marange diamonds on their lives...

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