Saturday, 9 November 2013

Venezuelan Diamonds

PARKUPIK, Venezuela (Reuters) - Veteran gold and diamond buyers sit on a small metal boat gliding down a river in southern Venezuela that brushes the borders of Brazil and Guyana. Armed with weighing scales, magnifying glasses and rucksacks stuffed with cash, the Venezuelan traders stop at many of the myriad illegal mines that line the water and scar the jungle.

"I have diamonds in my blood!" mused one buyer while macaws patrolled the jungle canopy near the village of Parkupik.
The diamonds he and others purchase will likely end up in trading centers like Tel Aviv, Antwerp, London and New York after being smuggled into neighboring Guyana to obtain falsified papers. Numerous traders across Venezuela and Guyana confirmed the illegal business to Reuters, all asking not to be identified for fear of attracting authorities' attention.