Police Arrest and Charge Gemologist for Smuggling Rough Diamonds into Canada



    TORONTO, Feb. 29 /CNW/ - On Wednesday February 27th, 2008, members of the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Pearson International Airport Detachment Customs
and Excise Section with the assistance of the Canadian Border Services Agency
arrested and charged one male with two offences.
    Donald MACKAY, (58) of Scarborough, Ontario has been charged with
smuggling contrary to the Customs Act, and import rough diamonds without
Kimberley Process Certificate contrary to the Export and Import of Rough
Diamonds Act.
    Police are alleging MACKAY, a certified gemologist, concealed the
diamonds within items imported into Canada, and in doing so attempted to avoid
paying the necessary duties and taxes. He also circumvented the Kimberley
Process certification scheme, an international process to ensure trade in
rough diamonds does not fund violence. Canada is one of 74 signatory countries
to the Kimberley Process.
    The Kimberly Process is the result of an United Nations agreement that
was born from Global Witness (a process dealing with conflict diamonds) in
2003.
    "The international trade of precious metals and gems is a key component
of our economy. The illegal movement of these materials also has a
humanitarian perspective that forms the basis of the Kimberley Process,"
stated Sgt. Mia POSCENTE of the RCMP Toronto Airport Customs and Excise
Section. "Consequently, the federal agencies involved vigorously thwart this
illicit activity to ensure that we can maintain the integrity of our economy.
This case is an excellent example of the partnership we have with CBSA and the
common goals we share."
    MACKAY is scheduled to appear in the Brampton Court house on April 22nd
2008.





For further information:

For further information: Sgt. Michele Paradis, Media Relations, RCMP 'O'
Division, (905) 751-8480 mobile, (905) 953-7483 office


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