Venezuela to rejoin global group fighting conflict diamonds (Reuters U.S. – May 24, 2016)

Venezuela expects to rejoin the global watchdog established to stop trade in conflict diamonds as it seeks to resume diamond exports, its central bank director said on Tuesday.

“We are certain we will rejoin this year,” Jose Khan told Reuters on the sidelines of an international meeting of the group, known as the Kimberley Process.

Khan said Venezuela was a tiny exporter of around 3,000 carats a month until, unable to verify the legitimacy of its diamonds, it stopped issuing export certificates in 2005 and unilaterally removed itself as an active participant in the Kimberley Process in 2008.

After its withdrawal, it was not officially allowed to export diamonds, although some smuggling continued in subsequent years, traders told Reuters.“We left in 2008 as we were trying to organize all our mining policy, and now we are prepared to join as we changed our law,” Khan said.

The Kimberley Process seeks to end trade in conflict diamonds, also known as blood diamonds, which it says are used by rebel groups to finance wars against legitimate governments.

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