Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Customs help fight 'blood diamonds'

Officials are being taught how to identify rough diamonds and ensure that consignments of gems are properly certified.

DUBAI// Customs officials are being taught how to identify rough diamonds and ensure that consignments of gems are properly certified, as authorities attempt to clamp down on smuggling. Thirty officials and inspection officers from Dubai International Airport, Dubai Cargo Village, Dubai Flower Center and Dubai Airport Multi Commodities Center, attended a workshop on Feb 25, where they were taught how to differentiate between rough diamonds and other precious stones and minerals.

The sessions were led by Maryam al Hashemi, the director of the UAE's Kimberley Process, an initiative introduced by the UN to ensure that rough diamonds originate in places free from conflict. The UAE's Kimberley Process office has worked with government departments to ensure the authenticity of rough diamonds traded through the country since the UAE signed up to the Kimberley Process in 2002, the first Arab state to do so.

"We are keen to exchange expertise with Kimberley and identify the latest methods so as to ensure the authenticity of exported and imported diamond consignments," said Mohammed Abdullah, senior manager of customer service at Airport Zone. Dubai is playing a bigger role in the diamond industry. With the establishment of the Dubai Diamond Exchange and the Dubai Multi Commodities Center the Kimberley Process has decided to open a new office in the city, reflecting its importance as a hub for the diamond trade.

Dubai Customs is also planning on buying scanning equipment to detect hidden diamonds. In October, an African woman was caught trying to smuggle Dh4million (US$1.1m) worth of rough diamonds through Dubai International Airport. Kimberley members are the only states authorised to import and export rough diamonds, and 99 per cent of trade in the stones takes place through the scheme. The one per cent that are not certified may have dubious origins and the term "blood diamonds" was coined for those used by rebel movements to finance wars. The trade in these illicit stones has fuelled long-drawn-out conflicts in countries including Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone.

lmorris@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 The Retreat at the Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa will screen IPL games on request. Lee Hoagland / The National

Top five places to catch an IPL game in the UAE

Enjoy all the 20/20 cricket action at a sports lounge near you – whether in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain or Dubai

This April 17 don’t take our word, we’ll take yours

Have a catchy caption for our picture above? Share it with us.

 Fans braved long queues and early morning hassles to buy IPL tickets in person rather than buy them online, such has been the enthusiasm for the tournament. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

Love it, hate it but IPL is too big to be ignored

The tournament steamrolls its way through life perennially from the throes of extinction to the prospect of expansion; alive one moment through its on-field spectacle, dying the next because of another off-field wrangle.

 An employee plays the game Flappy Bird at a smartphone store in Hanoi. Hoang Dinh Nam / AFP

How Flappy Bird made app developer $50,000 a day

The game propelled the unknown Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen to rock-star status.

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 A view of a defaced portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during an anti-North Korean rally on the 102nd birthday of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung in central Seoul. Kim Hong-Ji / Reuters

Best photography from around the world today

The National View's photo editors pick the best images of the day from around the world.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National