Diamond smugglers arrested in India with Zimbabwe diamonds
SURAT, India – Two persons have been arrested by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence for allegedly smuggling a consignment of Zimbabwe 'blood diamonds' valued at over US$2 million, an official said on Saturday.
“Zohra Desai (53) and Prema Desai (49), residents of Navsari of Gujarat, were caught from Surat on Friday night with a consignment of roughs (blood diamonds) of 48,663 carat (9.72 kg) valued at US$2 million, sourced from Zimbabwe. They were trying to sell them in Surat,” a top DRI official said.
“The duo recently arrived in Mumbai from Narobi and had come to Surat by road from Navsari. They failed to produce the mandatory Kimberley Process certificate for the roughs,” he said.
Blood diamond refers to a diamond mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, invading Army’s war efforts, or a warlord’s activity, usually in Africa where around two-thirds of the world’s diamonds are extracted.
This is the second major haul of blood diamonds in Surat by DRI in the last three years. Two foreigners – Robai Hussain of Guyana and Yusuf Ossely of Lebanon were arrested by DRI in September 2008.
Diamonds worth Rs 3.85 crore and Rs 98,000 in cash were recovered from the duo. They were sentenced to four years in prison for trading in blood diamonds by a local court and also fined Rs one lakh.