UN Council Blacklists CAR Diamond Firm

Antwerp: The United Nations Security Council blacklisted on Thursday the Belgian branch of Central African Republic’s diamond trading company and three people linked to the country’s more than three-year-old conflict. The blacklisted diamond trading house is Kardiam, which U.N. sanctions experts say is the Antwerp, Belgium-based operation of the Central African Republic’s diamond-trading company Badica. Under UN sanctions, the firm’s assets are to be frozen and business with it will be illegal.

On June 6 2014, Belgian authorities reported that they had seized a shipment of rough stones that were potentially conflict diamonds from the Central African Republic. The Belgian Federal Public Service (FPS) Economy, the authority charged with ensuring all rough shipments to Europe are accompanied by legitimate Kimberley Process (KP) certificates, said they discovered a “suspicious” shipment of rough diamonds and asked the KP Working Group of Diamond Experts to inspect the rough.

The Working Group then compared digital images of the “production footprint” for rough diamonds from the Central African Republic–meaning the color, assortment and type as well as size and quality distribution–with the rough discovered in Antwerp. The FPS Economy concluded that there is a “high probability” that the shipment originated from the Central African Republic. Central African Republic was a major exporter of diamonds until May 2013, when the KP banned shipment of its rough diamonds. On 17 July 2015, the KP gave the green light for CAR to resume diamond exports from carefully monitored ‘compliant zones’.