By Michelle Graff
Antwerp--Belgian lab HRD Antwerp has fired three employees, cut off a client and recalled more than 100 grading reports after an investigation indicated that the client had been bribing the employees to give its diamonds better grades.

HRD Antwerp announced the discovery of grading discrepancies in its Mumbai lab to the trade last week.

The discrepancies led to the discovery that a client--HRD Antwerp is not releasing the client’s name, revealing it only to be a “small Indian company”--had given three employees “some incentives” in return for better grades on diamonds, lab CEO Peter Macken told National Jeweler.

It was a “singular incident” involving a limited number of diamonds submitted by that one client, the lab said.

As a result, HRD Antwerp is recalling 156 diamonds, which range in size from 1.01 to 3.96 carats, for free regrading. A complete list of the diamonds’ report numbers is on

Macken said so far, there is no indication that the lab needs to widen the scope of its investigation and noted that it is believed that only a small portion of the 156 diamonds are incorrectly graded.

None of the diamonds have been returned yet.

HRD Antwerp has filed an official complaint with local authorities in this case, and legal action against all parties, both internally and externally, has been taken.

“HRD Antwerp strongly believes that the most effective way to strengthen consumer confidence and safe-guard the integrity of the global diamond trade is by making these acts public and by holding those who commit these acts fully accountable for their actions,” Macken said in a prepared statement from the lab.

This is not the first time HRD Antwerp has involved legal authorities after finding evidence of bribery in one of its labs.

Late last year, the Correctional Court in Antwerp slapped four individuals involved in the 2012 grading bribery scandal with heavy fines and sentenced them to prison time.

When asked if he expects the court to hand down similar sentences in this case, Macken said, “We have taken all legal steps necessary; that will follow its due course.”

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