Police probe complaint of irregularities in Leviev's diamond business

The Namibian Police have confiscated 2,000 polished diamonds from Lev Leviev Diamonds' polishing facility.

A person, who until recently held a senior position in Lev Leviev's diamond polishing facility in Namibia, filed a complaint with the Israel Police on Friday, in which he alleged irregularities in Leviev's operations.

The complaint followed a Namibian investigation against diamond polishers. Almost 2,000 polished diamonds, with a total weight of 1,000 karats, have been seized as part of the investigation. The Namibian Police launched the investigation early this year, after discovering that a substantial proportion of diamonds polished at the facility lacked proper documentation about their origin.

The former senior employee was questioned as part of the inquiry. He claims that the undocumented diamonds were intended to cover a shortfall after documented rough diamonds were sent to Israel without the requisite permits from the Namibian authorities.

According to documents obtained by "Globes", a Namibian Police official said that the confiscated diamonds were "less shiny" and "dirtier".

In a letter to the Namibian authorities, an attorney for Lev Leviev Diamonds denied that any diamonds had been sent to Israel without permission, and that the confiscated diamonds were the company's property that the former employee tried to steal.

The former senior employee says that these allegations are groundless, and that they are the company's attempt to close the affair.

The Namibians are in no hurry to accept Lev Leviev Diamond's version. In the past few months, the company has tried without success to get the confiscated diamonds back. The police recently told the company that the diamonds had been sent for analysis to discover their source, and wrote that it had a justified case for the inquiry.

The former employee has offered to testify in Namibia in exchange for personal immunity at the same time that he filed the complaint with the Israel Police.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 18, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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