Swiss Question Origin of Liberia Diamond Exports

August 14, 2000

Swiss Question Origin of Liberia Diamond Exports

Officials in Switzerland reported diamond imports into the country from Liberia have soared this year amid signs that many of them are coming from rebel-controlled parts of Sierra Leone, the Associated Press reports. In the first half of this year, $29.7 million worth of diamonds arrived in Switzerland from Liberia, said Heinz Baumann, a senior Swiss customs official. According to AP, Baumann said the quality of the stones made it clear some of them did not come from Liberia. Swiss officials said the government will consider legislation to ban direct and indirect diamond imports from Sierra Leone, but it would be difficult to ban diamonds from Liberia without similar action from the United Nations Security Council and the European Union.

- by Julia M. Duncan