India gets consular access to Indians charged in China’s diamond smuggling case

The 21 Indians were arrested in Chinese city of Shenzhen on 8th January
India gets consular access to Indians charged in China’s diamond smuggling case

According to latest reports, the Indian embassy in Beijing has been granted consular access to 21 Indians detained in the Chinese city of Shenzhen today morning and is also expected to be provided permission for appointing their own lawyers. The Anti-Smuggling Bureau of Shenzhen in Southern Guangdong province had arrested 50 people including the Indians on charges of diamond smuggling on January 8th 2010.

According to reports from the Shenzhen Daily, the raid was the result of a two-month investigation that began after Customs received a report about the smuggling ring in October 2009. Authorities seized the diamonds, which had Gemological Institute of America (GIA) certifications as well as cash. The group reportedly sourced diamonds in Hong Kong and hired Indians and locals to smuggle them into Shenzhen where they were sold in open markets.

In an interaction with Diamond World, Vasant Mehta, Chairman of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said that talks seeking cooperation in the matter were going on between the council and the Shanghai Diamond Exchange. “Shanghai itself wants to open the diamond trading. Therefore, this is not a very big smuggling. Nevertheless, breaking a law is always a crime. It is the case of China customs, which has its own protocol, and it takes time. The detained are young boys, who are working on behalf of their diamantaire relatives in Hong Kong or China and are unaware about the custom laws and duties. We have sent an advocate and diamantaires from Hong Kong are trying their level best,” He said.

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