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‘Zim state stealing diamond funds’

International

A leading diamond trade watchdog charges that $2 billion worth of diamonds have been stolen from Zimbabwe's eastern diamond fields and have enriched President Robert Mugabe's ruling circle and international gem dealers.

Partnership Africa Canada - a member of the Kimberley Process, the world regulatory body on the diamond trade - issued a report Monday that alleges Zimbabwe's Marange fields have been plundered by the Mugabe regime.

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Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

The report said vast earnings from Zimbabwe's eastern Marange fields -one of the world's biggest diamond deposits - have not reached the state treasury. The PAC report, released Monday to coincide with the Zimbabwe government's conference on the diamond trade here in Victoria Falls, casts a shadow over the Mugabe regime's effort to win international respectability for its gem trade. - Sapa-AP

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