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Donald Henderson
 
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Diamonds disappearing from Zim

19 May 2013, 14:24

The mystery of disappearing diamonds from Marange in Zimbabwe is a story that has yet to be fully reported by the media, for the simple reason that no one is talking and no one is allowed anywhere near the region.

The rich area is not an unknown mystery to the likes of De Beers who have had the mining rights for many years. But they never exploited the concession, presumably because they did not want to flood the market and hence reduce the global worth of diamonds. In 2006, however, their concession ended and ZANU(PF), with all the finesse of a brutal autocracy, pounced and began to plunder the vast wealth.

The area covers 173 000acres and holds an estimated $800billion of rough diamonds. But don't think of going there. It is guarded by the military and they shoot and kill anything that moves. The thousands of illegal panners that tried are proof of that as some soldiers have admitted in a BBC Panorama interview. “They died like flies,” said one in remorse.

Since then some $2billion of diamonds have disappeared and many countries have been associated with the plunder. Apparently, according to a report by 100Reporters, an “investigative news platform”, the diamonds are loaded on to a plane that then lands at Lanseria International Airport in SA from Harare. According to 100Reporters the plane, a VIP-configured Airbus, has links with the Zimbabwe Government, law firms and investors with holdings across the world, from UK to China, Angola to Bermuda to Wall Street. A  Chinese businessman known as Sam Pa is the most frequent flyer visiting Zimbabwe at least once a month. His name has also been associated with providing $100million and a fleet of Nissan pick-up trucks to the “secret” police, according to Global Witness and other non-profit organisations monitoring extractive industries. Frequent flyer Pa has denied the reports, wouldn't you know..A point which echoes the ongoing Gupta case is the report that this plane appears to by-pass normal police, Customs and civil aviation checks. Interesting, to say the least!

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