Four Antwerp diamond traders have been sentenced to stiff jail time for bribing a grader at the HRD lab, according to a statement from lab owner Antwerp World Diamond Centre.
The grader also received a jail sentence.
No names or further details of the sentences were released or available at press time.
The traders bribed the lab employee in order to receive better color grades on reports, the statement said. The improprieties were first brought to light in 2012.
“The public prosecutor is also submitting an appeal to enable another firm involved to receive even heavier sentences,” said a statement.
“We are pleased that the court hands down very harsh penalties on these types of crimes,” said AWDC CEO Ari Epstein in a statement. “These judgments deliver an unmistakable message: Those who break the rules will be punished severely. In our industry, everything depends on trust—when you give your word, you keep it. Those that violate that principle damage the reputation of the entire industry, and that is simply unacceptable.”