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Criminals prowl Surat diamond industry


Meghdoot Sharon,Kinnari Patel,CNN-IBN
Jun 18, 2007 at 03:32am IST

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Surat: The crime-hit diamond industry has witnessed the killing of 35-year-old diamond trader Dayal Bhai Makhwana in the Katargam area of Surat in Gujarat by some unidentified people.

Surat, the heart of India's diamond polishing industry, is now the scene of an increasing number of kidnappings and murders. Crime in the city has increased in the past two years and those in the diamond industry are prime targets.

Surprisingly, the reason for this could be attributed to the industry itself where buying and selling of diamonds are done without any paper work in areas like Mahidharpura, Varachha and Kapodara.

"Yes, people resort to these methods to save taxes and yes, there is also black money involved. But we must understand that we end up being soft targets and cannot claim for anything in cases of armed robberies," said Kirtibhai Shah, a diamond trader.

Uncut diamonds are brought in and polished ones are despatched to Mumbai on general class railway coaches without adequate security.

The courier boys are easy targets of robberies. Police also say, diamond merchants do not verify the background of their employees thoroughly before hiring them.

"Factory owners often hire workers without verifying their credentials. Investigations show that in many cases of armed robberies in the industry, those who work together are involved," said Commissioner of Police, Surat City R M S Brar.

Diamond merchants are still blaming the police for not providing enough security. But the need of the hour now is to ensure more modern and secure methods of trading and operations are put into place.

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