By Saa Kono in Koidu City…………………………
The man who found the 709.48 (now 709.41) carats of uncut gem diamond in Kono district in March this year, Pastor Emmanuel Momoh has regretted his decision of handing it over to the Government of Sierra Leone.
There are unconfirmed reports that, the Government intends to take sixty percent from the proceeds of the sale of the gem diamond and give Pastor Momoh and the Tankoro Chiefdom authorities forty percent.
These rumors have left Pastor Momoh completely devastated, according to a close family member.
There are reports that some unnamed Lebanese diamond exporters are unrelentingly working in cahoots with some senior NMA (National Minerals Agency) officials to discourage some international buyers from bidding to purchase the gem diamond through international tender.
It is further alleged that, this is done in order to influence the price of the gem diamond and to enable a local exporter to buy it. “If this gem diamond is sold to a local exporter, the price will definitely not be the same as if it is sold to a foreign or international buyer,” a close relative of Pastor Momoh told the Global Times last night.
According to him, Pastor Momoh has regretted his action of not selling the diamond to Mr. Jihad Basma, who was the first diamond exporter to have seen and even weighed the gem diamond in Koidu City on March 12, 2017.
A senior NMA official told the Global Times that, the gem diamond will be sold to the highest bidder, no matter where they come from.
The sale of the gem diamond was deferred in April following series of concerns raised over its actual ownership.
A senior official in the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources in Freetown claimed last night that the gem diamond was found in an unlicensed mining plot in the Tankoro Chiefdom, Kono district.
It is not yet known whether or not Pastor Momoh is willing to accept to share the forty percent from the proceeds of the gem diamond with the local authorities at Tankoro Chiefdom, headed by Paramount Chief Paul Ngegba Saquee V.