Sunday, April 19, 2009

1,200 Carats of Possible 'Blood Diamonds' Seized at JFK

Jamaica, N.Y. - On Saturday, Customs and Border Protection officers at JFK International Airport seized almost 1,200 carats in diamonds. The 28 rough diamonds originated from Sierra Leone and were seized because they did not have Kimberley Certificates which are required by the Clean Diamond Trade Act.

The diamonds were destined for Brentwood, N.Y. and had a declared value of more then $800,000.

Two U.S. jewelers, arriving from Sierra Leone via London, declared that they were transporting rough diamonds and 57 pounds of gold dust. The two U.S. citizens, whose names are being withheld for privacy reasons, were referred for a baggage exam to verify proper documentation for entry. Unset stones are generally duty free when imported from most countries; however, a formal entry must be filed on all rough diamonds and all required documents must be available for inspection.

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