Gloves Off in Diamond Fracas

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By Catherine Sasman

WINDHOEK

Bret Investments and Nambib Resources are bulging their fists as the warring parties prepare for what could become a nasty court battle.

Nambib Resources last week dropped off a letter directed to the South African-based legal firm Lombard & Partners, together with a DVD, that suggests that Bret Investments, the operating company at Toscanini, transported diamonds from the site illegally, and that the diamonds eventually ended up in the same envelope as that of Block 3 [EPL 3218 of Rosh Pinah] in the Karas Region when it was valuated at the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) offices towards the end of last year.

Managing Director of Bret Investments, Michael van der Merwe, rubbished the allegations “with the contempt that they deserve”.

Instead, said Van der Merwe, Managing Director of Nambib Resources, Dr Subramaniam Ragubathi, was in fact the one who had transported another set of diamonds illegally from the site to Windhoek earlier on at the beginning of last year.

“We were with him when he took the diamonds. We told him he could not do that, but he said, ‘Well, I’m the owner, I’m the boss here’. He took the diamonds and brought them to Windhoek without following the correct procedures,” said Van der Merwe.

As a result of this alleged transgression, said Van der Merwe, Ragubathi lost his K27, documentation required to enter a diamond mining and exploration site.

Van der Merwe and director/shareholder of Bret Investments, Neaman Amalwa, vowed that the operator had taken all prescribed procedures when it did transport the Toscanini diamonds.

They further claimed that the mentioned Block 3 had not yet yielded any diamonds so far, dispelling claims made by Ragubathi that diamonds from Block 3 and Toscanini ended up in the same envelope, and also denying Ragubathi’s allegation that they have taken diamonds to possible investors.

The Toscanini diamonds are currently still under lock and key in Windhoek, with neither party able to sell these because a Kimberley Process Certificate has not been issued.

This has angered Bret Investments that wants to recover its expenses on Toscanini.

Since the signing of the agreement between Nambib Resources and Bret Investments in February 2006, said Van der Merwe and Amalwa, the company has paid and advanced amount of US$50??????’??

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