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General News Wed, 11 Oct 2006

No Ivorian conflict diamonds in Ghana

Accra, Oct. 11, GNA - The Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) Limited on Wednesday denied allegations that diamonds from rebel-controlled areas of La Cote d'Ivoire were being smuggled into Ghana, making Ghana to violate the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).

The KPCS, initiated in 2003 is designed to ensure that diamond producing countries applied internal controls to stop conflict diamonds entering the export chain.

Media reports say that a report by United Nations Panel of Experts on La Cote d'Ivoire is pointing to Ghana as being a conduit for Ivorian diamonds.

The PMMC Limited, the organization charged with the responsibility for the implementation of the KPCS, told a press conference in Accra that it was committed to the KPCS.

It said it remained an ardent believer in the objectives of the Kimberley Process and would not condone activities that could lead to instability in neighbouring countries.

"We support sanctions imposed by KPCS on conflict areas in order to prevent rebel movements from using trade in conflict diamonds to finance wars against legitimate governments in the region," Dr Aristotle A. Kotey, Acting Managing Director PMMC, said.

He said since Ghana had not officially received the copy of the Report from the UN Panel of Experts on La Cote d'Ivoire, the PMMC could not be expected to give any detailed official response to the allegations circulating in the media and on the internet.

"PMMC unequivocally rejects the conclusion attributed to the Report of the UN Panel that conflict diamonds of Ivory Coast origin are being smuggled into the country and exported to the outside world.

"Such a conclusion failed to take cognizance of the factors that account for the recent increase in the volumes and prices of Ghana diamonds," Dr Kotey said.

He said the price and volume of rough diamond exports from Ghana increased from 2000, when the Ivorian war had not even started.

Dr Kotey said the increase in the average price of diamonds in Ghana was not a result of inflow of conflict diamonds from rebel-held Cote d'Ivoire, but "rather from market factors in the industry and other internal strategies employed by PMMC".

Dr Kotey maintained that every country's diamond was peculiar and, therefore, could not be confused with each other, saying no importer of Ghana's diamond had ever complained of receiving Ivorian diamond in its consignment.
Asked if the PMMC had ever intercepted any Ivorian diamond during its checks on Licensed Buying Companies, Dr Kotey replied in the negative.

Accra, Oct. 11, GNA - The Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) Limited on Wednesday denied allegations that diamonds from rebel-controlled areas of La Cote d'Ivoire were being smuggled into Ghana, making Ghana to violate the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).

The KPCS, initiated in 2003 is designed to ensure that diamond producing countries applied internal controls to stop conflict diamonds entering the export chain.

Media reports say that a report by United Nations Panel of Experts on La Cote d'Ivoire is pointing to Ghana as being a conduit for Ivorian diamonds.

The PMMC Limited, the organization charged with the responsibility for the implementation of the KPCS, told a press conference in Accra that it was committed to the KPCS.

It said it remained an ardent believer in the objectives of the Kimberley Process and would not condone activities that could lead to instability in neighbouring countries.

"We support sanctions imposed by KPCS on conflict areas in order to prevent rebel movements from using trade in conflict diamonds to finance wars against legitimate governments in the region," Dr Aristotle A. Kotey, Acting Managing Director PMMC, said.

He said since Ghana had not officially received the copy of the Report from the UN Panel of Experts on La Cote d'Ivoire, the PMMC could not be expected to give any detailed official response to the allegations circulating in the media and on the internet.

"PMMC unequivocally rejects the conclusion attributed to the Report of the UN Panel that conflict diamonds of Ivory Coast origin are being smuggled into the country and exported to the outside world.

"Such a conclusion failed to take cognizance of the factors that account for the recent increase in the volumes and prices of Ghana diamonds," Dr Kotey said.

He said the price and volume of rough diamond exports from Ghana increased from 2000, when the Ivorian war had not even started.

Dr Kotey said the increase in the average price of diamonds in Ghana was not a result of inflow of conflict diamonds from rebel-held Cote d'Ivoire, but "rather from market factors in the industry and other internal strategies employed by PMMC".

Dr Kotey maintained that every country's diamond was peculiar and, therefore, could not be confused with each other, saying no importer of Ghana's diamond had ever complained of receiving Ivorian diamond in its consignment.
Asked if the PMMC had ever intercepted any Ivorian diamond during its checks on Licensed Buying Companies, Dr Kotey replied in the negative.

Source: GNA
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