via Zim recovers seized diamonds – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 30, 2015
Zimbabwe has recovered diamonds seized during an auction at the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) last year, the Belgian auctioneer said yesterday.
BY NDAMU SANDU
Last year, a South African company, Amari, won a temporary relief to freeze the proceeds from the auction saying it was owed by the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.
A group of Dutch farmers also put a claim after winning a case against Zimbabwe at the International Court for the Settlement of Investment Disputes.
In a notice yesterday, AWDC said the final instalment of 500 000 carats of seized diamonds with an estimated value of a little under $29 million had been returned to Zimbabwe bringing closure to the dispute.
“Denying an attempt by a South African mining company to attach diamonds to an unrelated case against the State of Zimbabwe, a Belgian Court of First Instance ruled that the diamonds in question were not, in fact, the property of the State, but the property of the Zimbabwean mining companies that produced them,” AWDC said.
“This ruling has now made it through the appeals process and has been implemented in full.”
The order to release the diamonds was granted on February 11. There was an appeal and some resistance.
A determination to release the diamonds was made last week, government sources told NewsDay last night.
The seized diamonds belonged to Jinan Mining, Anjin Investments, Diamond Mining Corporation, Mbada Diamonds, Marange Resources and DTZ OZgeo. Zimbabwe puts the value of diamonds at around $40 million.
Zimbabwe was represented by Farai Mutamangira, a senior partner at Mutamangira & Associates.
The seizure of the diamonds created consternation in the industry with players saying they were against the auctioning of the gems in a country that had imposed “sanctions” on Zimbabwe.
However, the Ministry of Mines said the selling of diamonds at Antwerp and other diamond markets was to gain valuable experience in preparation for local sales.
Local auctioning of diamonds resumed in November last year.