Indian Diamond Dealers Claim U.S. Harassment Over Russian Diamonds Imports
U.S. ‘Harasses’ Indian Diamond Dealers Over Russian Gems; Transfers Worth ₹215 Cr Blocked
Responsible, Ethical, & Dealing with Russia
Russian diamonds being cut in India are being purchased through bank accounts from company offices in Dubai.
The USA Office of Foreign Assets Control blocked payments to Russia totaling $26 million, claiming sanction violations. Indian cutters are not happy.
The Jewelry Summit Eye-opener
We were sitting next to an Indian diamond manufacturer at the recent Harvard Jewelry Summit, when we spoke privately about this very issue. Here we were at an ethical and responsible sourcing conference. And according to the manufacturer, yes, they do purchase rough from Russia, as it is still legal to do so in India.
It is still legal so that is why they choose to buy Russian rough diamonds?
Oh, but if they are selling their finished goods to a company that is headquartered in a country that has levied sanctions against Russia, they will be certain to sell them only goods gathered from other sources.
Am I supposed to be comfortable with that?
If we were to buy our finished diamonds from this supplier, would we consider the parcel ethically sourced?
Two News Stories: Hindustan Times, and RT (Russia Today)
The U.S. is targeting Indian jewellers over Russian diamond allegations. The U.S. authorities have frozen transfers worth around ₹215 crore by firms belonging to Indian diamond dealers over alleged imports from Russia. The step has been taken by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Indian Diamond dealers deny any violation as alleged by the United States.
US targets Indian jewelers over Russian diamond allegations
Around $26 million in transfers has been stalled as a result of the measures
US authorities have frozen transfers worth around $26 million by firms belonging to Indian diamond dealers over alleged imports from Russia, the Economic Times reported on Monday.
The step by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) reportedly targeted subsidiaries of Indian diamond houses registered in the United Arab Emirates.
Dollar payments by the UAE-based firms were stalled due to suspicions that their supplies have Russian origins, or that they have investments and other connections with Russian miners and sanctioned entities.
The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has taken up the issue with the Ministry of Commerce and the Indian Embassy in the UAE, according to chairman Vipul Shah, as cited by the media.
“We are also trying to explain to OFAC that the payments were made to non-sanctioned entities and even to some Russian entities well before the sanctions came into place. There is very little direct import of diamonds from Russia,” Shah said.
In May, G7 leaders pledged to restrict trade in diamonds mined, processed or produced in Russia in an effort to further cut Moscow’s revenues.