Far from the mayhem in africa on the other side of

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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 river. 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 cash. 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...
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This document was uploaded on 01/19/2014.

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