Source: Shyamal Banarjee/Mint
I have written many articles on doing raw or unpolished diamond deals in Africa and around the world. I have tried to show clients and others the benefits of removing the risks for the buyer and seller. Unfortunately, many have not seen or read my articles, and the losses, pain and suffering continues.
Just this week, two different groups from the U.K. have contacted me. Both were scammed in West Africa, one in Guinea, the other, in Sierra Leone. Both groups relied upon untrustworthy individuals to buy rough diamonds. One group was set up by the sellers and had the police visit them to arrest them for trying to buy diamonds without a buyer’s license. He only avoided arrest because his partner was out of the room with the diamonds they had bought. Just in case you thought he was lucky, he lost $400,000 because the crooks had switched the parcel and his stones were fakes. The other buyer lost $280,000. The story is always the same; names have been changed not to protect the innocent, but because the guilty crooks gave phony names.
If you are a buyer, why don’t you do your homework?
Do you know how to verify real sellers?
Do you know the scams and how they are done?
Do you know the laws and rules in the countries you want to do business?
Do you know what licenses are required? Have you verified the licenses of your suppliers?
Do you know how to safely do a transaction?
Do you know how to move the money and do the banking safely?
Do you know how to navigate the KPC process (Kimberley Process Certificate) and not be overcharged on the taxes?
Do you know how to safely export the rough diamonds?
Do you know the requirements to import into your country?
How many back up sellers have you set up?
Do you know how to conduct a TTM (Table Top Meeting) and defend the goods you have bought?
Do you know how to verify a buyer if you are the seller?
Do you know how to verify a buyer’s company, and banking?
Does your buyer have the proper licenses to buy?
Does he have the banking set up to fund the deal in a timely manner?
There are more questions that must be asked; but I am tired and I am in a bad mood. I am tired of watching honest, hard working people being ripped off. I am tired of watching crooks get away with millions and laughing at the pain and suffering of their victims. I am in a bad mood because I have been one of these victims myself in the past, and every time I hear or see of someone losing money, it brings back the misery and loss I endured.
If you do not know how to overcome the obstacles and criminals in the rough diamond business, then for God’s sake, and for the sake of your investors, your wife, children and friends, hire a rough diamond gemologist who does!
Louis Pearl G.G.
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