War on blood diamond trade loses its lustre in age of digital smuggling – by Jon Yeomans (The Telegraph – January 28, 2018)


The diamond industry stands at a crossroads. The Kimberley Process, a scheme designed to certify that diamonds are “conflict-free”, is under pressure to reform.

Once regarded as a landmark agreement between industry, governments and NGOs, it has been attacked for widespread shortcomings. Can it restore confidence in the industry and can consumers be sure of what they are buying?

For years, the diamond business was dominated by mining house De Beers, which controlled global prices by buying and selling rough, unpolished diamonds from its rivals.

But the turn of the century brought profound change. Facing antitrust pressure in the US, De Beers abandoned its cartel system, paving the way for the rise of Russia’s Alrosa, now the biggest producer of diamonds by volume, as well as a host of smaller players.

At the same time, producers have been forced to face up to the widespread trade in so-called “conflict” or “blood diamonds”. These, according to the founding statement of the Kimberley Process, are rough diamonds used to finance conflicts against governments, such as the civil war in Angola, which ran from the Seventies until 2002.

For the rest of this article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/01/28/war-blood-diamond-trade-loses-lustre-age-digital-smuggling/