|NamGem factory, photograph from The Namibian|
A unit of the De Beers Group said that a “substantial” amount of diamonds have been stolen from its cutting and polishing facility in Namibia, according to media reports.
The De Beers unit, Namgem, reported that rough and polished diamonds were stolen from its factory in Okahandja, about 40 miles from the Namibian capital of Windhoek.
Namgem is the first diamond cutting company to be established in Namibia. It is controlled by Namdeb, a venture equally owned by the Namibian government and De Beers, the world’s largest diamond producer. The mining operation was established in 1999 and employs about 120 people, according to De Beers’s Web site. Lazare Kaplan International Inc. of New York operates the plant.