Israel Criticizes Arrest of Diamond Dealers at Congo Airport
The Israeli ambassador to Congo, Nicole Gad, protested to the Congolese government about the detention on Wednesday of two Israeli diamond dealers at Kinshasa airport, reported Haaretz newspaper on Friday.
Congolese security forces arrested three diamond dealers - two Israelis, Rony Ben-Simon and Zohar Keller, and a Belgian, Philippe Zedenrust - as they prepared to board a flight to Belgium on Wednesday, a colleague and an Israeli diplomat said.
All three were freed Thursday, he told the paper.
Congo authorities gave no reasons for either their detention or release.
One of the released dealers only said it had been a plot - but refused to be more specific.
"It is now all fine, we were treated very well and the police apologized ten times," said Israeli dealer Zohar Keller.
Congo is the world's third-largest exporter of diamonds.
In April, Joseph Kabila took over Congo's presidency after his father, was assassinated. He revoked a deal that had given the Israeli firm International Diamond Industries sole export rights for Congo diamonds.
The monopoly had driven much of Congo's diamond trade into the black market.
A United Nations report called the deal a disaster for Congo's diamond industry – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
- Kabila will 'Do his Best' to Find Bodies of Murdered Lebanese
- Lebanese Delegation to Congo Leaves Empty-Handed
- Lebanon Dispatches Official to DR Congo where twelve are Jailed for Involvement in Kabila’s Assassination
- Israel’s Diamond Industry Needs over $2b in Bank Credit
- Tunisia to Send 200 Soldiers to Congo