A shipment of rough diamonds from Dubai that arrived in Antwerp this morning via a regular courier company has been held up by the Diamond Office of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) on suspicion that the diamonds originated from the Marange diamond area in Zimbabwe. Though the diamonds have a proper Dubai Kimberley Process (KP) export certificate, the European Community's (EC) economic authorities seem to have adopted a "wider approach" in terms of interpretation of the European economic sanctions against Zimbabwe; they are apparently holding to the view that the government of Zimbabwe and/or a specifically sanctioned entity are receiving benefits from the shipment.
Though the European position is still in the process of being formalized, at this point, it seems virtually assured that if anywhere in the documentation of the diamond shipment, the words "Marange," "Canadile" or "Mbada" appear, the authorities feel obligated to confiscate it.
At this point, the Dubai shipment is being held up and has not yet been confiscated. The AWDC's Diamond Office sent queries to Dubai get clarification on the origin of the goods. While there is no certainty that the goods may have come from Zimbabwe to begin with, the rather "tense operating environment" had spurred the Diamond Office to take no chances and check with Dubai rather than release the goods.
More information will follow.