Money laundering, terrorism financing diamond trade in India, Israel, Belgium, Canada and the US — report

Money laundering, terrorism financing diamond trade in India, Israel, Belgium, Canada and the US — report

While the world focuses on Africa, particularly Congo, diamond businesses being used to launder illegal funds are growing closer to home.

A report by Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which sets standards to curb money laundering and terrorist financing, said India, Israel, Belgium, Canada and the United States, are the new markets where diamond businesses are used to launder illegal funds worth millions of dollars.

The study, based on information provided voluntarily by countries and organizations of the global diamond sector, and drafted in partnership with the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units, is already generating fiery reactions.

According to the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), the document wasn’t properly researched and “dilutes efforts of trade bodies to create regulated trading environments.”

In a statement Wednesday, the organization said that while the study is a good initiative, it misses the mark. AWDC added it couldn’t be considered representative of the whole industry, as it was mapped out using case studies.

The World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), a key global representative body of the industry, also had it say. On Thursday it published a statement claiming the report is “fraught with unfounded accusations and inaccuracies.”

The report issued by FATF detailed how India had reported instances where diamond prices were over-valued for purposes of laundering and suspect financing.

According to the debated document, in a number of suspect cases of diamond trafficking the funds were transferred to Belgium from accounts in Hong Kong, China, Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the US and India. In cases of suspicious money laundering through diamond trade, the money came from India, Israel and Switzerland to the UAE.

Image by Domofon/Shutterstock.com

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