The story of the ‘disappeared’ top pink diamond of arms dealer Serge Muller again takes a bizarre turn. The federal police seized a 10.32-carat pink diamond in 2012, but the diamond in the vault of the justice department turns out to be bright white. Despite an earlier promise, the public prosecutor refuses a new investigation into the diamond.
The story begins in 2012 when the investigators barge in on Bruno Melotte, a dealer in precious stones and exclusive watches from Zoersel. Police and justice suspect Melotte of involvement in the importation of cocaine and money laundering. In a Melotte vault, investigators find an exclusive 10.32 carat top pink diamond. The HRD diamond certificate describes the stone as ‘Fancy Pink‘, a fixed shade of colour that is used in the international diamond sector. The stone will be in the vaults of the justice department for many years, until Bruno Melotte is acquitted across the board in 2014. The Court of Appeal ordered the stone to be returned to the company Rex Mining of Serge Muller, an Antwerp businessman who had given the stone to Melotte for safekeeping.
The stone will never return to its owner. The public prosecutor and investigating judge De Hous launch a new offensive against Bruno Melotte, who again ends up behind bars on suspicion of importing cocaine. Diamond and arms dealer Serge Muller also ends up behind bars this time. He is arrested in Montenegro and will spend almost eight months in prison, before being extradited to Belgium. Serge Muller is said to supply weapons to the terror organisation FARC, which would pay him in cocaine. In the end, nothing will remain of the entire drug investigation. Muller and Melotte are no longer prosecuted for drug smuggling. The public prosecutor only charges them with money laundering.
The top pink diamond is therefore still seized in the vaults of the COIV (Central Agency for Seizure and Confiscation). At least, that’s where the stone should be. Suspect Bruno Melotte asked a few years ago to be allowed to examine the stone. “When the police handed me the stone, I noticed that the pink colour had disappeared. I tested the stone countless times with a special device. Each time the device indicated that it was a moisonite, an inferior stone that resembles a diamond. I collapsed. I got the feeling that the stone had been stolen and that the only purpose of the entire drug investigation was to cover up the theft.”
Serge Muller, the owner of the top pink diamond, asked the Antwerp court two weeks ago to have the confiscated diamond examined after all. The public prosecutor promised to make the examination possible, but it turned out that the public prosecutor is going back on that promise. According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, sufficient expert assessments were carried out during the investigation.
However, the latest expertise by the HRD, dating from 2016, raises more questions. The HRD experts qualify the colour of the stone presented by the FGP as ‘G-H, with a light pink tint’. This is bizarre because the colour G-H is used in the diamond industry for bright white diamonds with a hue that is not visible to the naked eye. “You don’t have to be an expert to see the difference between a ‘Fancy Pink’ diamond and a white G-H diamond. The stone that the experts of the HRD have approved, must therefore be a different stone from the pink diamond of Serge Muller,” says Bruno Melotte. “So where is the pink diamond? The fact that the Public Prosecutor’s Office continues to refuse to carry out a proper laboratory assessment, can only mean one thing. That pink top diamond is just gone.“