World Federation of Diamond Bourses vice-president Ernest Blom has categorically denied claims that he traded in rough diamonds from Zimbabwe’s Marange deposits.
The claims, published on WikiLeaks, were made in a cable sent in November 2008 by James McGee, the US ambassador to Zimbabwe, in which he quoted Andrew Cranswick (CEO of African Consolidated Resources, a mining company that had its diamond claim in the Marange district seized by the government-controlled Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe) as making the accusations against Blom.
In a letter to the WFDB president, Blom said: “I categorically deny any illegal trading or boasted about it as Cranswick allegedly said in the dispatch.
“I had never travelled to Harare before I went up there as part of the Kimberley Process review mission in 2007. I have only ever met Cranswick twice in my life. The last time more than a year ago when he tried to elicit my assistance to get his mine back, which I declined.”
Blom, who is also a WFDB honorary president, added that Cranswick “denies ever having said what was printed in the dispatch or ever mentioning any name”.
“It is clear that this dispatch is unsubstantiated hearsay and I reserve my right to take legal action against any person or establishment that brings my name into disrepute.”