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Reply #94: Venezuela Warns Illegal Diamond Miners to Leave [View All]

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-10-05 02:23 PM
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94. Venezuela Warns Illegal Diamond Miners to Leave
Venezuela Warns Illegal Diamond Miners to Leave

By THOMSON DIALOG: NewsEdge Posted: 8/10/2005 7:32 AM

(Rapaport...EFE News, VENEZUELA) Guyanese gold and diamond miners working illegally in Venezuela are being warned to leave the country or face expulsion by Venezuelan soldiers, the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) said.

The Venezuelan Embassy in Guyana said it was unaware of any intensified military preparations in light of the activity of the illegal miners. But it also added that such a crackdown would be justified if it were to come about.

Word of an imminent crackdown came several weeks after the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission said it was possible that diamonds were being smuggled from Venezuela to Guyana to take advantage of lower taxes. Such contraband would violate the Kimberley Process protocol, an international accord aimed at halting the illegal diamond trade.

GGDMA executive secretary, Tony Shields, said the warning was issued based on information from the International Diamond Exchange that Venezuela has launched fresh efforts to stamp out illegal gold and diamond mining in its southeastern state of Bolivar. The illegal miners are said to be destroying virgin forest and polluting rivers.

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