Antwerp World Diamond Centre denies being a hub for Wagner diamonds

"Antwerp is not a hub for diamonds from Wagner," said Tom Neys, spokesman at Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). AWDC is thus responding to an investigation by European Investigative Collaborations (EIC), which revealed that Wagner traded diamonds through Belgium in 2019.

"We find it particularly unfortunate that Antwerp is unfairly portrayed as Wagner's diamond hub," says Neys. "We are talking about a one-off import in 2019, of 296 carats or 132,000 euros. That's 0.0029 per cent of total imports in 2019."

According to AWDC, those imports were completely correct with the necessary, valid KP certificate, as well as approval from the Central African Republic and the international KP monitoring team on site. European Union sanctions against Wagner had not yet come into force at that time.

"Apart from that one transport, there was no trade between Diamville (the company Wagner used as a front, ed.) and Antwerp," Neys argues. "All trade in recent years from the Central African Republic has taken place through other trade hubs such as Dubai."

For AWDC, the whole story is just proof that Antwerp's high level of transparency deters companies with bad intentions and that they structurally conduct their trade through other channels. "Shipments from the Central African Republic automatically get a red flag," says Neys. "They are thoroughly investigated before importing."

"As Antwerp, we are currently isolated within the geopolitical context. Other regions and countries have a different view on how to trade diamonds correctly," Neys concludes. "So the answers to these issues do not lie in Antwerp, but within the entire international community."


#FlandersNewsService |Someone looking at a Diamond with a magnifying glass at the presentation fo the book. © BELGA PHOTO JORGE DIRKX



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