Diamonds, Robberies and Our Tanzanian Diamond Escapade.

Diamonds, Robberies and Our Tanzanian Diamond Escapade.

Above Photo: Uncut diamonds (© unknown)

Regular readers of my Thailand writing will know that I have spent an enormous amount of time in Africa, specifically Tanzania, over the past six years, where my brother and I ended up acquiring three diamond mines and running one of them ourselves, out in the bush near Lake Victoria, in the Shinyanga region of Tanzania.

It’s a long and fascinating story,  involving naivety, incompetence, negligence and much more on behalf of the various parties involved, during that period. But in the end, it’s done and in the past, and I can now write about it more objectively.

Part of our actual mine at Nyangwale in late 2009, taken fromt he top of an old De Beers tailings dump from which we recovered diamonds

Part of our actual mine at Nyangwale in late 2009, taken from the top of an old De Beers tailings dump from which we recovered diamonds

I am still working through 15,000+ emails on Tanzania, including meeting notes and notes of telephone conversations, but I am really looking forward to writing about this bizarre, tumultuous and financially disastrous episode, which also holds many fond memories of my many trips to Tanzania and into the bush.

ThI was there when the very first piece of our Nyangwale mine was lifted into place in early 2009

I was there when the very first piece of our Nyangwale mine was lifted into place in early 2009

Anyway, on the subject of African diamonds, I was surprised to see that European police forces have arrested over 30 suspects in the recent $50,000,000 diamond heist at Brussels airport.

Cut diamonds (unfortunately not ours) (© unknown)

The reason I’m writing about this is because I heard in Tanzania a couple of years ago, about another major diamond heist at a European airport, when a mining company’s production of diamonds on their way to be sold in Antwerp were stolen in a similar raid, which received zero publicity and which was hushed up because the diamonds were self-insured.

It might have been typical diamond mining bullshit, but I don’t think it was, because an unimpeachable source told me, and that person was in a position to know.

It made me wonder what else goes on in the world of diamonds that never gets to see the light of day.

And now I am off the mark with my diamond articles, I hope to add more in the coming months as I prepare to go through my mountain of emails and draft an account of our time in Tanzania, good and bad.

Approximate location of the Nyangwale diamond mine

Approximate location of the Nyangwale diamond mine in red circle

See the trailer for our new film, M.I.A. A Greater Evil. Set in the jungles of Laos and Vietnam, the film deals with the possible fate of US servicemen left behind after the US pulled out of the Vietnam War.

For POWs left behind in Laos, see also:

© Peter Alan Lloyd

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Front cover of BACK Part 1.

Front cover of BACK Part 1.

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Front cover of BACK Part 2.

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