(RAMAT GAN, Israel) – Israel’s anti-money laundering and tax authorities have lowered the risk rating of Israel’s diamond industry from high to medium. This comes in the wake of measures implemented by the industry over the past several years to improve transparency and compliance with international financial guidelines. It is seen by the industry as an important achievement, and a vote of confidence in the industry.
The risk rating, which was published in November in a comprehensive review of Israel’s AML risks, was lowered from 3.7 to 2.7. The chapter on the diamond industry cited important steps that were taken by the industry to lower risk, including the tax settlement reached with the industry, the incorporation of AML guidelines within the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) regulations and positive results of several inspections by the Ministry of Economy’s Diamond Controller. The report concluded: “In light of the important measures taken by the industry in cooperation with the AML and tax authorities we have lowered the risk rating from high to medium.”
The government’s decision came after many years of hard work on the part of all organizations within the industry – the Israel Diamond Institute (IDI), the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) and the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association (IsDMA) to bring the industry up to full transparency and compliance with AML guidelines.
IDE President Boaz Moldawsky said that this is a very important accomplishment for the Israel diamond industry that will positively impact the industry’s relations with financial institutions and government authorities. He cited the enormous efforts of former IDE President Yoram Dvash, now President of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), and of Jacob Korn, former President of the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association (IsDMA), as having been critical to achieving the improved ranking.
“We see this as a vote of confidence in the Israel diamond industry, and a step towards the establishment of a free trade zone in the Israel Diamond Exchange,” Moldawsky added.