04May 2017
Kazakhgate, Patokh Chodiev, AWDC

When on 22 March this year the Kazakhgate commission in the Belgian Parliament questioned the former CEO of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), Freddy Hanard, it was very shy. No powerful questions were asked. It was as if the members of the commission were afraid to reveal too much of the truth, namely that… Continue reading

06Apr 2017

Judicial documents seen by OSI reveal that Belgian investigators asked for assistance from South African authorities in a criminal inquiry against Omega Diamonds and Sylvain Goldberg. In October 2008, during the search and seizure operation at Omega’s offices in Antwerp, Belgian authorities discovered documents related to a South African company. A magistrate in Antwerp submitted… Continue reading

04Apr 2017
Diamondgate, criminal transaction, Belgium, Antwerp, AWDC, traders, diamonds, Anvers, Axel Haelterman, Raf Verstraeten, tax evasion, parliamentary, commission

OSI offered ample evidence that the law voted on 14 April 2011 in the Belgian Parliament amending the Code of Criminal procedure by allowing prosecuted individuals and companies to enter into transactions with the Public Prosecutor to terminate the public prosecution of offences – the so-called “extended criminal transaction” – was in fact drafted and… Continue reading

28Mar 2017

„I made a commitment to the Zimbabwean minister of Mines to help lift the European Union sanctions on Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation and I worked extremely hard to keep these promises”. As strange as it may seem, it was not a government official or a politician who made that statement. It was Antwerp World Diamond… Continue reading

21Mar 2017
Antwerp, diamond, Axel Haelterman, Servais Verherstraeten, Open Flemish Liberals, Democrats, Code of Criminal Procedure, diamond club, Patokh Chodiev

The 2011 extension of the scope of criminal transaction was not the first bill meant to resolve Antwerp diamond industry’s legal issues. It was not the first draft law created by the diamond lobby, written by AWDC’s lawyers, introduced by Servais Verherstraeten, and endorsed by the informal group of Belgian MPs serving the interests of… Continue reading