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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Zimbabwe Government Charge Diamond Companies with Fraud

Photo by Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, AP

The Marange diamond fields in Zimbabwe continue to be a source of controversy and alleged corruption. This time the Zimbabwe government has charged a second mining operation with fraud.

Government officials have charged African Consolidated Resources Plc. with unlawfully acquiring diamond claims in Marange by using subsidiary companies that were unregistered at the time, Reuters and other news agencies reports.

Just last week Zimbabwe police arrested six directors linked to a joint venture firm mining diamonds in Marange, also on allegations of fraudulently acquiring the concession. The arrested executives include five officials from the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corp. and a Zimbabwean representative of its South African partner, Core Mining and Minerals (link unavailable), in the 50-50 diamond mining joint venture, Canadile Miners.

They were arraigned Tuesday and the court is due to give its ruling on their bail request on Wednesday (today), AFP reports.

And of course, last week, Kimberley Process officials failed to agree on whether to allow Zimbabwe to sell gems from Marange, based on continued allegations of human rights abuses and smuggling.

A story in The Zimbabwean newspaper tries to make sense of all of this.

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