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U.S. GOVT. ISSUES WARNING OF FRAUD AND FAKE KP CERTIFICATES FOR SIERRA LEONE AND GUINEA
12 May 2014

The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, in conjunction with U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a statement advising the public on several scams involving Kimberley Process (KP) certificates.

According to the State Department, "recently, in one elaborate scheme, individuals were invited to Sierra Leone to view rough diamonds that were later evaluated as fake stones and were also provided with a fake Kimberley Process certificate numbered Sierra Leone 004199, issued in either April or May 2014. Variations of certificate SL 004199 has been presented to prospective diamond purchasers in the past three weeks."

The U.S. State Department urges diamond traders and business community members to "be alert to the circulation of the fake certificate." If presented with a fake certificate, the government requests that such a scenario be reported to U.S. Customs and Border Protection and to the Department of State at USKimberleyProcess@state.gov.

The government says that over the last year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has identified false KP certificates from Guinea, Ghana, and Sierra Leone that have been used by criminals in an advance-fee scheme to defraud people of thousands of dollars. According to the statement, the criminals have approached U.S. citizens via the internet urging them to purchase rough diamonds directly from West African sources promising legitimate KP certificates for export.

 

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