This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: impeiros (illegal diamond
diggers) and army officers, buccaneers and foreign fortune-hunters compete for a patch, scraping at the ground with tin
cans and fingernails, or plunging underwater from wooden canoes to dig out the gems from the gravel beds of the Cuango
It is a modern-day vision of the 1870s diamond rush at Kimberley, South Africa. There are no rules. Guns are rife, and for
hire. Murders, ambushes and kidnappings are common. "It’s like the Wild West," says one bu yer. Last year, De Beers
spent some $15m each week mopping up Angolan diamonds, mostly in Antwerp, no questions asked. Recently, De
Beers’s man in Luanda was shot and wounded by armed robbers while driving in the diamond area with a huge stack of
Far from the mayhem in Africa, on the other side of the world, a helicopter lands on the roof of a building in Charterhouse
Street, on the edge of the City of London. It ejects a man in a suit, Nicky Oppenheimer, soon to be chairman of the De
Beers empire that his grandfather, Sir Ernest, bui...
View Full Document
This document was uploaded on 01/19/2014.
- Fall '14
- The Land