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Home News Spanish Police Detain Leader of “Blood Diamond” Trade

Spanish Police Detain Leader of “Blood Diamond” Trade

by Madonna

Spanish armed police have arrested a man accused of trafficking blood diamonds from Sierra Leone to finance a rebel group involved in the country’s 11-year civil war. The arrest took place last Tuesday (2 July) at Malaga airport, where the suspect arrived on a flight from Brazil. He is currently in prison awaiting legal proceedings.

The man, whose identity has not been disclosed, allegedly led an operation to launder money from diamonds mined under slave-like conditions to support the Revolutionary United Front (RUF).

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According to Spain’s national police, he orchestrated a scheme to circulate and launder diamonds acquired by paramilitary groups that enslaved civilians in Sierra Leone. The suspect allegedly misrepresented the origins of these diamonds, claiming they came from Liberia, and sold most of them to a Belgian company.

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The investigation started in 2020 following a complaint from a civilian victim who claimed to have been enslaved in one of the mines operated by paramilitary militias.

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“After obtaining these precious stones illegally, primarily from the mines of Kono and Boedu, which were controlled by child soldiers of the Revolutionary United Front, the diamonds were transferred to a business network subsidiary in Liberia,” stated the police in a translated press release.

“Investigators believe the arrested individual directly participated in the face-to-face purchase of these diamonds, often meeting with RUF military members who delivered the diamonds directly to him.”

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