(Rapaport…October 6, 2005) There is a risk illegal rough diamonds from Côte d’Ivoire could find their way throughout the trade, according to the Kimberley Process coordinators.
Vyacheslav Shtyrov, chairman of the Kimberley Process, first reported that rebel-held territories in the northern fringe of the country prompted the government to ban rough exports in October 2004. Shipments from Côte d’Ivoire should not be accepted until further notice.
The chair of the Kimberley Process has been cooperating closely with the United Nations panel of experts on Côte d’Ivoire, and in June 2005 the organization submitted its report to the panel concerning illicit production of diamonds in northern Côte d’Ivoire.
Still, “significant” production continues both in the form of artisanal and
semi-industrial in the areas of Bobi-Séguéla and Tortiya, according to Shtyrov. Production is being smuggled out of the country and it is possible these diamonds are being mixed with legitimate rough diamonds by Kimberley Process participants.
Illicit rough from Côte d’Ivoire poses great risk to the Certification Scheme, and Shtyrov’s office urges all participants to help address this challenge.
Participants must instruct their customs and judicial authorities to ensure that no diamonds produced in Côte d’Ivoire can be imported into their territory or traded within their territory. Inform the chair of the Kimberley Process of any instances where attempted imports of, or trade in, diamonds originating in Côte d’Ivoire have taken place.
The diamond industry, as represented in the Kimberley Process, should inform all their affiliates of the status of rough diamonds originating in Côte d’Ivoire, and ensure the widest possible circulation of the present notice within the diamond industry, the chairman’s office requests.