‘Conflict’ Stones Offered for Sale?

At least one jeweler, one diamond dealer, and the editor of the JCKgroup.com Web site have received e-mail solicitations to buy conflict diamonds from someone claiming to be associated with the Sierra Leone rebel group RUF.

The three requests—the veracity of which is doubted by some—are virtually identical except for different names and different phone numbers.

The author, who identifies himself as an assistant leader in the RUF, writes that a large quantity of diamonds weighing 2.98 kilograms has been saved and deposited in Senegal.

The e-mail reads: “We got your contact from the Internet and decided to contact you as an honest and trustworthy businessman whom we can trust and transact business with. We would like you to secure our great resources in your care as we have decided to order a command to the security company to transfer our resources to you depending on your urgent reply to our request.” It offers the respondent 15% of the money generated from the diamond’s sales.

Both the dealer and the jeweler passed the message on to JCK. It is a violation under international and U.S. law to buy diamonds from Sierra Leone that are not accompanied by a government certificate.

When JCK contacted the number listed on the e-mail, the man identified himself as a member of the RUF and said he was speaking from Senegal. When asked how many people had responded to his message, he responded that the e-mail message was sent “only to you.”