Belgium probes billion-dollar diamond fraud: report

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 03, 2011 8:14 AM

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgian authorities are pursuing a billion-dollar diamond fraud case that is being billed as the biggest case to come to light in the country, Belgium's De Tijd newspaper reported Saturday.

The case concerns a list of individuals -- including high-ranking diamond traders in Belgium's diamond center Antwerp -- with secret accounts at a branch of a British bank in Switzerland, the paper reported.

Antwerp tax authorities started investigating allegations of tax evasion in the diamond industry after obtaining from French authorities a list of individuals with bank accounts in Geneva, De Tijd said.

The paper quotes Belgium's antifraud chief Carl Devlies as calling the case the biggest case in Belgium's history.

More than half of the world's diamond production passes through Antwerp.