Efforts by the government to ensure that conflict diamonds from the Central African Republic (CAR) do not cross over the border and enter the country’s legal supply chain have been paying off. The phenomenon of diamonds leaving Cameroon without passing through official channels for the appropriate taxes to be paid before export has also come under check.
Cameroon’s National Permanent Secretariat for the Kimberley Process reports that it carried out a systematic search, with the support of airport security officials, of some 5,553 international flights in 2018. The rigorous operation led to 13 seizures of gemstones from doubtful sources.
Same year, the Permanent Secretariat registered 1,791.37 carats of raw diamond produced by artisanal miners mainly in the East mining localities of Batouri, Ouli, Kentzou, Yokadouma and Kette. The raw diamond worth FCFA 432,352,126 contributed FCFA 61,985,935 in taxes to the state, giving an increase in revenue contribution of 890.75% compared to 2017. Officials said 30 out of 46 listed raw diamond exploitation sites were operational and opened to agents of the National Permanent Secretariat for the Kimberley Process for control.
Two years ago, a civil society organisation in a report indicted Cameroon of allowing blood diamonds from CAR to enter its legal supply chain because of corruption, weak controls and smuggling. Government had denied the allegations. However, government has been taking concerted actions to ensure that diamonds traded in Cameroon are not used to finance war.
To eliminate smuggling and fraud, the Permanent Secretariat has implemented a robust and effective traceability system aimed at transparency. Artisanal and industrial miners, collectors and purchasers have been indentified and trained. Production sites have also been identified with agents registering the daily artisanal and industrial output. The payment of all taxes related to mining production before certification and export is being tracked while