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The Wagner Group Trades Diamonds Via An African Firm

Through a firm established in the Central African Republic, the Russian mercenary Wagner group trades diamonds across the world.

Russian mercenary Wagner group trades diamonds worldwide through a company based in the Central African Republic. Belgian newspaper ‘De Standaard’ found that one of the recipient countries of the diamonds was Belgium. Despite the introduction of successive packages of EU sanctions against Moscow, the import of diamonds from Russia has so far not been banned.

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According to a report published in the Belgian daily newspaper “De Standaard.” The article emphasised that Belgium was one of the diamond recipients. The Wagner organisation is active in the diamond trade despite being accused of war crimes such as murder and rape in combat zones across the world.

The Belgian newspaper’s reporters reached this conclusion in collaboration with the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC), a programme dedicated to investigative journalism. The Russian mercenaries’ commercial operations are not well recognised, but they are substantial, including the selling of valuable stones from Africa, according to the newspaper.

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The Wagner Group & Diamonds

Much of the traffic is still illegal: most diamonds are smuggled through neighbouring Cameroon and Sudan, but some still move through legitimate routes with export licences, according to De Standaard. According to the media, Belgium got 296 carats of diamonds worth EUR 132,000 in 2019. “Sales from the Central African Republic account for less than one percent of Antwerp’s total diamond imports,” said Tom Neys of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), a group that advocates for Antwerp’s diamond trade enterprises.

Despite the imposition of successive packages of EU sanctions against Moscow following the country’s aggression against Ukraine, the import of diamonds from Russia has not been prohibited.

The Wagner Group is a mercenary outfit that employs thousands of people.

Wagner agents have committed war crimes in areas where they have been stationed. Among the charges are rapes and robberies of civilians, as well as torturing accused deserters.

The Wagner Group is thought to be used by the Russian government to provide plausible deniability in certain conflicts, as well as to conceal the number of casualties and financial costs of Russia’s foreign interventions from the public; it has most recently been linked to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

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