Prison sentences for diamond dealers and officials

A former official of the Diamond High Council (HRD) in Antwerp was sentenced to 18 months in prison, half of it suspended, after being found guilty of issuing fraudulent certificates to allow diamonds to be sold for more than they were worth. Three diamond dealers and one company were also found guilty and sentenced.

The man worked in HRD’s certification office, which determines the value of particular stones. The court heard how he issued fraudulent certificates for 119 gems during an 18-month period between 2010 and 2012. He was paid by three diamond dealers a fee of €200 for each one – a total of €23,800.

One dealer made sure that the stones came across the desk of the official for adjudication. He received 30% of the price difference between the lower certificate and the one issued – a total of €20,047. The other two dealers took €745,000 in total, according to the prosecutor’s calculations. All three sums are forfeited, the court ruled.

The three traders were sentenced to 30 months, half of it suspended, as well as a €30,000 in fines (in addition to the forfeiture) and a ban on trading, also suspended. One of the trader’s companies was fined €60,000.

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