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Old 10-29-2002, 12:25 PM   #1
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The DIAMOND investigation

From http://www.macha.f9.co.uk


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This is the unexpurgated account of what the "Diamond Sleuth", investigative journalist and human rights worker Jani Roberts found while investigating De Beers and the diamond cartel in 5 continents for Aboriginal Land Councils, for Frontline in the US, for the BBC in the UK and then for the publisher Doubleday.

This is the website of her book "Glitter and Greed: The Diamond Investigation.". This is a book that major publishers loved - and were finally too scared to publish. You can now get your own copy here.

The Efforts to Suppress this Book
Transworld, owners of "Doubleday", reported about the manuscipt:

"It is acomplished, important, sensational and a hot property."

Transworld contracted to publish this book around the world and facilitated her research trip to South Africa, providing her with a luxury flat on Table Mountain. They designed the book's cover, put it in their Advanced Catalogue, had major papers competing for serialisation rights. But then, at the last moment, they suddenly and surprisingly cancelled, citing fear of opposition from "rich and powerful" people. They did not bring up any legal objections.

Then major publisher Little Brown saw the text and wrote to say that it will make a "superb" book. But they then decided against it, saying

"I hope you find a publisher less cowardly than us."

Jani was also the producer and senior journalist on the feature length film "The Diamond Empire", a 1994 international investigation. The BBC and WBBH Frontline transmitted it to praise from critics, then, due to pressure from De Beers, refused to sell her film to South African television or to the public. - even though her film was never found to be libellous or inaccurate.
In this book you will read the letters sent by Nicky Oppenheimer of De Beers to the BBC to try to get the author removed from her film. It is also the story of how finally the BBC and WGBH cracked under pressure.
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Some Personal Background.

In Namibia I was the Keynote Speaker at the First Post-Apartheid Conference of Southern African Mineworkers. I was also taken inside "The Forbidden Zone" - where De Beers hid its diamond wealth.

In India I have been into many of the diamond dust stained workshops in which children as young as 8 cut the world's gem diamonds - many of them in Debt Bondage - which the UN calls a modern form of slavery.

In Canada I was the guest of the Dene Indians whose caribou hunting lands were under threat because diamonds had been found there.

In Australia I worked with Aborigines who smuggled me through security gates into the world's largest diamond mine - built on a Woman's Sacred Dreaming Place.
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these are excepts... but this chapter is very important for the current UN Security Council investigation into the diamond trade ..

It was not only in Zaire that the diamond cartel employed former spies and embedded itself in secrecy. Secrecy is endemic to the trade. ...

...De Beers had to conceal its exports of Namibian diamonds so they might not be forfeited. Justice Pieter Thirion of the Natal Supreme Court revealed how this was done. He found that Namibian diamonds were being secretly sold to a company called Diamond Sales Ltd that operated out of Bermuda but was owned by the Oppenheimers via Liberia. In the first half of 1983 this trade was worth US $717 million.

Thirion received minimal co-operation from De Beers in making his legal inquiries. Justice Thirion reported that that the evidence given by the resident CDM director in Namibia, Douglas Hoofe, was: 'not very interesting... an insult to even the lowliest form of intelligence.'...

... There is a multitude of ways to conceal the origin of diamonds. The freeport trick is probably the best. De Beers has 3 European operations at inland 'freeports' situated next to airports and serviced by their private airline. One is located at the Zurich airport's freeport in Switzerland, another at Shannon airport's freeport in Eire and the other is at the freeport on the Isle of Man. De Beers' planes can usually taxi directly from the runway into the De Beers' compound. De Beers thus can unload a cargo of diamonds, gold or any other commodity with minimal risk.

Diamonds can get new identity papers easiest at the Zurich freeport... But the Swiss government soon had less reason to feel nervous about its role as a haven for South African diamonds. The flow from southern Africa stopped as abruptly as it had started. Instead a new flood of diamonds came into Switzerland from Bermuda, a country with coconuts and no diamond mines. De Beers had done their accustomed alchemy. In 1991 Bermuda dispatched diamonds worth US$583 million to Switzerland

... This was even stranger when further the official records were further examined. English customs recorded only US$70 million worth of diamond exports to Switzerland in 1987. Clearly on the way to Switzerland De Beers waved the magic wand and multiplied them tenfold. Switzerland recorded over US$700 million worth of diamonds arriving from England. De Beers also wove a similar magic over Swiss exports. British customs that same year recorded three times more diamonds arriving from Switzerland than Switzerland recorded sending to Britian.

... There was still more powerful sorcery in other years. Swiss records said they exported in 1982 just $33 million dollars worth of diamonds to the United Kingdom but British records recorded over a billion dollars worth of diamonds arriving from Switzerland that same year. More diamond magic sparkled in 1991 when US$29 million worth of British diamond exports was transmuted into diamonds worth in Switzerland some US$652 million. As for the countries that thought they mined the majority of the world's diamonds, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Zaire, Russia and Australia - most of their diamonds seemed to vanish before they reached the cartel's sorting tables in the UK and Switzerland. On the face of it, these countries have exported their diamonds into a vacuum.

....There was something familiar for me in these registered addresses. When I previously researched the international arms trade, I traced the movement of funds from Western intelligence agencies or from other, perhaps more dubious, institutions, to arms dealers and manufacturers. I found these funds were laundered through the same countries that quietly hosted the cartel companies. These countries were the registered addresses of a thousand extremely nasty operations. Some of these permitted the use of bearer shares - making it impossible to trace ownership or corporate responsibility further - a device allegedly used by President Mobutu among others..

...UNITA were allegedly selling most to De Beers buyers to help pay for its military operations. .. some went directly to buyers in Antwerp, some went out by helicopter to South Africa. ... found the diamond mines UNITA was attacking were secretly contracted to De Beers - so it seemed that whatever happened in Angola, De Beers would get its diamonds. A company called the British Mine Police protected the diamond mines with helicopter gunships.

... the De Beers connection was typically carefully concealed. The Angolan government gave its diamonds to 'Mining and Technical Services'- a company not ostensibly connected to the cartel, thus avoiding political embarrassment. However this was a cartel company hidden behind the usual smokescreen. It was incorporated in Liechtenstein but had its main office in London, adjacent to the De Beers offices. ...

In 1994 the De Beers Namibian subsidiary CDM was accused of illegally buying elephant tusks and rhino horn as well as of illegally buying diamonds. A diamond buyer, Thomas George Pearson said in a sworn statement: 'I was employed by CDM Pty Ltd in Namibia as a Diamond Buyer from June 30th to November 1992. (I was given) a detailed briefing by Roger Burchill, Head of CDM Security Department. My appointment was that of an undercover unlicensed diamond buyer' in Namibia and Angola. '...

'Roger Burchill was phoned at Oranjemund [a De Beers mine] whenever a transaction was to take place and he would fly to Windhoek for the duration of each of these. Roger stayed at the Safari hotel for the majority of the transactions, booking in under his alias of Gavin Maudsley...He would bring the necessary funds... On a few occasions smugglers brought in rhino horns and elephant tusks which I was instructed to buy on behalf of Roger Burchill and Chief Inspector Brink. ... On one occasion Roger Burchill gave me R250,000 in cash with the instruction to go into Angola to purchase diamonds from UNITA.'

Most smuggled diamonds that were not intercepted by De Beers in Africa would eventually arrive in Antwerp.. where De Beers had another secret diamond buying operation run through a company it controlled called ... This regularly received from the Diamond Trading Company (DTC), via a Swiss Bank the American dollars it needed for its secret cash transactions.

.... The diamond trade has a history of deception- and De Beers remains one of the most secretive major corporations in the world. It is in the nature of their game. They have to conceal that the commodity they trade as rare and precious can be mined at low cost. All must be done, and was, to eliminate any low-cost rough diamonds from the market. This was an essential part of their strategy.

During the 1990s in pursuit of this same policy, De Beers use these secret roads into Antwerp and into De Beers vaults to purchase perhaps over three billion dollars worth of smuggled diamonds. The funds paid for these stolen stones helped finance wars that would kill over half a million in Angola and more in Zaire and Sierra Leone - and sow many lands with land mines. But this story is for a later chapter.
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De Beers and the Oppenheimers have preserved for many decades their control over the world's diamonds by insisting that only by selling diamonds through one outlet couldan prices be kept healthy and high. But the Oppenheimers once spun quite a different tale. They gained control over De Beers by doing precisely the opposite. Having been lectured by De Beers on the importance of selling all rough diamonds through one outlet, namely themselves, so supplies could be steadied and prices maintained, it was intriguing to discover that the Oppenheimer family who have controlled De Beers for generations built their diamond fortune by doing precisely the opposite. They won control over De Beers by savagely competing against it with diamonds from non-De Beers mines.

In the 1920s The Oppenheimer family knows how the vulnerability of De Beers can be exploited because Ernest Oppenheimer made De Beers into his family's fiefdom used De Beers weaknesses in the 1920s by twice setting to capture De Beers and make the diamond world his family's own fiefdom. Ernest's tactics included all the major heresies condemned nowdays by De Beers. He twice set up his own diamond syndicates with independent diamond supplies to compete against De Beers internationally. When Des. He competed against De Beers in the world's diamond markets. De Beers tried to defend itself from him, it used had fought against Ernest Oppenheimer with all the arguments about the benefits of a single outlet for diamonds that Ernest's son, Harry, used in the 1980s to persuade Australians not to do what his father did.

The Oppenheimers have continued until today to defend their centralised diamond economy with arguments against a free market Their stance did not damage their relations with even such advocates of free enterprise as the former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Her Office of Fair Trading was to rule that the Oppenheimer companies had no case to answer for monopolising the world market - because their operations mostly affected foreigners! Margaret Thatcher spent the 9th anniversary of her rise to power as Prime Minister celebrating with the Oppenheimers in their London office.
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Old 10-29-2002, 12:48 PM   #2
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and that would be Exhibit A to why Sparkysgrrrl hates diamonds
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Old 10-29-2002, 02:15 PM   #3
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what a title!
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Old 10-29-2002, 02:29 PM   #4
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I ve been investigated a great many times.
I usually come out smellng like a rose
thank u

-diamond-
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Old 10-29-2002, 03:18 PM   #5
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I was waiting for this!!

Quote:
Originally posted by diamond
I ve been investigated a great many times.
I usually come out smellng like a rose
thank u

-diamond-

Diamond,
did you think
before you read this thread,
that this was an investigation
put forth by Bono??

~Olive
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Old 10-29-2002, 03:54 PM   #6
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Olive-
No.
Bono knows who I is..

thank u-
DB9

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Old 10-29-2002, 04:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by diamond

Olive-
No.
Bono knows who I is..

thank u-
DB9


that explains why he has security guards 24-7 now.
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Old 10-29-2002, 05:27 PM   #8
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what a quandary - diamond is my birthstone

I finally bought a stud for my ear a few years ago. They told me it is a real diamond, it's just a sliver. It cost $25, it is so tiny, I'm trying to salve my conscience here by saying it is small. Even so, it still means I have participated in this trade.
The Australian aboriginal shaman used gem stones and crystals in their ceremonies, but only they held them and they didn't take very many.But it shows gems have been used and desired by humans for a long time.
I was introduced to a guy who was wearing a Tshirt that read, Ban Crystal Mining...I was wearing a clear quartz pendant around my neck and an amethyst ring at the time. I am wearing a malacite heart right now, I bought from an African lady at a market. I'm guilty.
My friend asked me to read an article about mining in Thailand and Burma. It was terrble too, workers paid in heroin.
All that glitters, ...food for thought hiphop , thanks

story time....are you aware of Kerry Packer?A very rich , powerful Australian media mogul. Not my favourite person. A couple of years ago he decided to spend a few spare mill$$ and bought a race horse stud farm in the Hunter Valley near Sydney(famous for wine too)
This could not have happened to a nicer man..he really needs more luck and money.
They found an old envelope in a filing cabinet, it had sat there unopened for years. He accidentally obtained possession of it with the house. Inside the envelope were rubies. They had them tested, top quality. Along with his good land for the horses and grapes, he now has what they think is one of the richest ruby deposits in the world.

I wonder if his son James likes U2? He could save Interference. Heck who did he get to play at his wedding? Someone you don't normally think of as a wedding singer...Elton John or someone who would have charged a few pennies. So now he's got rubies too!
I'm jealous is all ..............and guilty about my teeny tiny diamond.
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Old 10-30-2002, 12:02 AM   #9
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I seriously thought this thread was about diamond. im thinking...shit what'd he say or do this time?
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Old 10-30-2002, 11:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by nellie
I seriously thought this thread was about diamond. im thinking...shit what'd he say or do this time?


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Old 10-31-2002, 04:05 AM   #11
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Re: what a quandary - diamond is my birthstone

Quote:
Originally posted by cass
I finally bought a stud for my ear a few years ago. They told me it is a real diamond, it's just a sliver. It cost $25, it is so tiny, I'm trying to salve my conscience here by saying it is small. Even so, it still means I have participated in this trade.
The Australian aboriginal shaman used gem stones and crystals in their ceremonies, but only they held them and they didn't take very many.But it shows gems have been used and desired by humans for a long time.
I was introduced to a guy who was wearing a Tshirt that read, Ban Crystal Mining...I was wearing a clear quartz pendant around my neck and an amethyst ring at the time. I am wearing a malacite heart right now, I bought from an African lady at a market. I'm guilty.
My friend asked me to read an article about mining in Thailand and Burma. It was terrble too, workers paid in heroin.
All that glitters, ...food for thought hiphop , thanks

story time....are you aware of Kerry Packer?A very rich , powerful Australian media mogul. Not my favourite person. A couple of years ago he decided to spend a few spare mill$$ and bought a race horse stud farm in the Hunter Valley near Sydney(famous for wine too)
This could not have happened to a nicer man..he really needs more luck and money.
They found an old envelope in a filing cabinet, it had sat there unopened for years. He accidentally obtained possession of it with the house. Inside the envelope were rubies. They had them tested, top quality. Along with his good land for the horses and grapes, he now has what they think is one of the richest ruby deposits in the world.

I wonder if his son James likes U2? He could save Interference. Heck who did he get to play at his wedding? Someone you don't normally think of as a wedding singer...Elton John or someone who would have charged a few pennies. So now he's got rubies too!
I'm jealous is all ..............and guilty about my teeny tiny diamond.
Donīt feel guilty about owning a diamond. You didnīt steal it. The story of Kerry Packer... a bingo thingie... already rich and then big time with rubies.

Its fun that top bands play at weddings too, isnīt it? I heard of Cher, but have also heard that Elton John does this kinda gigs. Iīd wonder if the U2 would do that... Cher charged sth. like 100k methinks.

About De Beers an Oppenheimers... pretty scandalous, hm? Assholes.
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Old 10-31-2002, 04:07 AM   #12
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Re: Re: what a quandary - diamond is my birthstone

Quote:
Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars


Donīt feel guilty about owning a diamond. You didnīt steal it. The story of Kerry Packer... a bingo thingie... already rich and then big time with rubies.

Its fun that top bands play at weddings too, isnīt it? I heard of Cher, but have also heard that Elton John does this kinda gigs. Iīd wonder if the U2 would do that... Cher charged sth. like 100k methinks.

About De Beers an Oppenheimers... pretty scandalous, hm? Assholes.
I usually dont like to "whore" myself out that way for the record

DB9
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Old 10-31-2002, 04:09 AM   #13
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Re: Re: Re: what a quandary - diamond is my birthstone

Quote:
Originally posted by diamond

I usually dont like to "whore" myself out that way for the record

DB9
Ah, dude, we are all sluts...
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Old 10-31-2002, 03:20 PM   #14
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if you guys tried just a little bit harder.......

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Old 10-31-2002, 03:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by nellie
I seriously thought this thread was about diamond. im thinking...shit what'd he say or do this time?
me too lol
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