Four government officials have been arrested in South Africa, following the disappearance of rough gems bought for a diamond cutting course.
The suspects, all employees at the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, were detained last Wednesday by the Hawks, the force that specializes in corruption and economic crime. They all face fraud charges.
Back in 2010 the European Union donated over $440,000 to fund a mining qualification course – which included cutting and polishing – for 40 students at the Kimberley Diamonds International Jewellery Academy (KIDJA), Northern Cape.
In July 2021 a random audit inspection discovered that rough gems bought for training purposes had disappeared.
They were reportedly purchased from a private entity without the necessary licenses.
Four suspects, aged 47 to 66, are due to appear at Kimberley Magistrates’ Court.