New York--KBC Group NV never made a good faith effort to sell Antwerp Diamond Bank (ADB) because certain key players knew what banking authorities would find if they looked under the hood, Chaim Even-Zohar alleges in his latest column.

The longtime diamond industry journalist writes in his Sept. 11 Diamond Intelligence Briefing that “certain key players” at KBC did everything they could to “frustrate,” delay and ultimately kill the sale of the bank in order to give themselves time to cover up alleged laundering activities in Eastern Europe, distance themselves from statues of limitations, and keep ADB “out of sight” of U.S. banking regulatory authorities.

Even-Zohar cites a number of sources and pieces of evidence in his column, key among them being the seven-year-long legal battle between New York-based diamond company Lazare Kaplan and KBC/ADB.

In lawsuits filed in both Belgium and New York, Lazare Kaplan accuses KBC and ADB of fraud and corruption for taking money that belonged to Lazare Kaplan and depositing it into the accounts of a diamantaire named Erez Daleyot in order to make up for a series of “improper” loans the banks made to Daleyot.

Access Even-Zohar’s entire article on DiamondIntelligence.com. (Fee involved.)


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