Fraud probe into Russian-run diamond wholesaler in Antwerp
The Antwerp public prosecutor's office is conducting a judicial investigation into an Antwerp diamond company run by Russians that allegedly circumvented European sanctions against Russia.
Investigators seized diamonds worth more than 1.4 million euros during three house searches on Wednesday.
Prosecutors said the company is a rough diamond wholesaler that allegedly moved most of its stock outside the European Union to evade sanctions.
"During searches in the diamond district, the financial section of the Federal Judicial Police (FGP) Antwerp still managed to seize diamonds with a total value of $1.5 million," prosecutors said. "Meanwhile, the Russian managers seem to have disappeared into the sunset."
Charges against the company currently include money laundering and violation of European regulations. The Enterprise court is also closely monitoring developments and has appointed a restructuring expert.
© BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK