Sierra Leonean pastor finds 706-carat diamond worth over £50m, gives it to the government


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A Pastor has found one of the world’s largest uncut diamonds, weighing 706 carats, which could be the 10th largest ever found. It was found in Sierra Leone’s eastern Kono region. The stone, is being stored in the country’s central bank, government sources said.

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A local chief from Kono handed the stone to President Ernest Koroma on behalf of Emmanuel Momoh who made the discovery. The government plans to auction it. The stone is yet to be valued but could be worth millions of dollars.

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The presidency said in a statement that Mr. Koroma thanked the chief who acted as an intermediary for not smuggling it out of the country. Diamonds fueled a decade-long civil war that ended in 2002 in which 50,000 people were killed.

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Rebels forced civilians in the east to mine the stones and bought weapons with the proceeds, leading to the term “blood diamonds”. “He (Koroma) underscored the importance of selling such a diamond here as it will clearly give the owners what is due them and benefit the country as a whole,” the statement said.

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