Zimbabwe regime accused of stealing $2bn in diamonds [View all]
Source: the guardian
Diamonds worth at least $2bn (£1.26bn) have been stolen by the Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe's ruling elite, international dealers and criminals, in "perhaps the biggest single plunder of diamonds the world has seen since Cecil Rhodes", a watchdog has claimed.
Revenue that could have revived the country's ailing economy has been channelled into a "parallel government" of police and military officers and government officials loyal to Mugabe, according to Partnership Africa Canada (PAC), a group campaigning against "blood diamonds".
The Marange fields in eastern Zimbabwe were discovered in 2006 and are one of the world's biggest diamond deposits. But funds from diamond sales have not reached the state treasury, says a PAC report, published on Monday to coincide with a Zimbabwe government conference on the diamond trade in Victoria Falls. Instead there is evidence that millions have gone to Mugabe's inner circle.
"Marange's potential has been overshadowed by violence, smuggling, corruption and most of all, lost opportunity," says PAC.