Saturday, April 5, 2014

Woman arrested trying to smuggle diamonds at Toronto airport

A woman has been arrested at Toronto’s Pearson airport after arriving from Trinidad & Tobago with more than 10,000 diamonds concealed within her body, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Thursday.

Border officials found the woman, who arrived from Trinidad and Tobago, to be carrying 10,202 rough diamonds weighing 1,500 carats with an estimated value of $400,000, the Globe and Mail cited police as saying.
The nearest source of diamonds would be Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana. Venezuela removed itself from the Kimberley Process five years ago. Global Witness has claimed that millions of dollars in gems are smuggled out of Venezuela to neighboring Brazil and Guyana to be passed off as legitimate Kimberley Process approved diamonds.
“In Canada, diamond money-laundering schemes appear to frequently relate to drug trafficking. Illicit financial flows are most often between Canada and the United States,” the report said.

In one case, the report said, illegal rough diamonds were smuggled into Canada, then smuggled again to another country to be cut, then legally sent back to Canada since the stones were passed off as legitimate stones. “Once the diamonds have gone through the beneficiation process and the rough diamonds are cut and polished, it becomes almost impossible to determine the origin of a stone,” the report's authors wrote.