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Articles from DIAMONDS BY CUT - BRILLIANT (ROUND) (285 Articles)











A diamond dealer and federal police commissioner, both from Antwerp, have been arrested on suspicion of money laundering
A diamond dealer and federal police commissioner, both from Antwerp, have been arrested on suspicion of money laundering

Illegal diamond activity suspected in Antwerp

Antwerp’s fight against diamond fraud may be called into question after a police official responsible for investigating wrongdoing in the diamond industry and a diamond dealer were arrested on suspicion of money laundering.

Agim De Bruycker, federal police commissioner and head of the Antwerp ‘Diamond Squad’, was reportedly taken into custody after a raid on his home yielded thousands of dollars valued in gold, diamonds and cash.

According to media sources, the investigation was launched after De Bruycker’s extravagant purchases of a new villa and luxury vehicle raised suspicions within the diamond police unit.

De Bruycker had been a member of the squad – which aims to eliminate crime in the diamond-trading centre – since its establishment in 2000. He has reportedly been involved in a number of high-profile investigations during that time, including the multi-million dollar diamond heist at Brussels airport in 2013 and last year’s HSBC scandal, wherein the bank was accused of helping Antwerp diamond merchants hide money in offshore accounts to evade tax.

Agim De Bruycker, Antwerp federal police commissioner and head of the Antwerp
Agim De Bruycker, Antwerp federal police commissioner and head of the Antwerp 'Diamond Squad'

The premises of the Antwerp federal police were allegedly also searched, with media reports noting that the diamond department’s integrity had been called into question more than once over the years.

Another man – who was described only as a 57-year-old Antwerp diamond dealer – was also said to have been arrested in relation to the De Bruycker investigation.

The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) addressed the two investigations in a statement that read: “The AWDC hopes that the judicial investigation into police commissioner D and the potential involvement of a diamond trader are quickly clarified.

“While the AWDC is not directly involved and has no control over the operations and transactions of individual diamond traders, as an industry organisation and in the general interest of the industry as a whole, we hope to quickly obtain insight into the role of the diamond trader in this case.”

The statement added that the AWDC would make no further comments on either matter until the respective investigations had concluded.

Antwerp has long been considered a global diamond-trading hub. It is believed there are approximately 1,700 registered diamond companies and more than 4,500 diamond dealers in the Belgian city.

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