Something magical happens to diamonds soon after they arrive in Lebanon:
“85 percent of the diamonds arrive as industrial worth a couple dollars a carat, but some 250,000 more carats leave as gem-quality diamonds than arrive – worth 36 times their import value.”
That’s according to the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme, a non-legally binding process sanctioned by the UN in 2003 aimed at certifying the origin of rough diamonds from sources free of conflict fueled by diamond production.
The KPCS report shows that Lebanon is suspected of trading in conflict diamonds. In 2008, Lebanon imported over US$1.3 million in diamonds yet exported over US$48.5 million worth of gem quality bling. Unless there’s a diamond mine underneath Burj Hammoud, this should raise alarms.
Lebanon joined the KPCS in 2007 as a way to regulate its diamond polishing industry. It is quite clear that Lebanon’s law enforcement is what needs serious polishing.