Industry security provokes dialogue at CIBJO meet

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Malca-Amit CEO prompts firms to be vigilant and wary of new clients.

Last week’s World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) meet in Moscow featured an in-depth discussion about the security of jewellery and diamond companies across the world, with Malca-Amit chief executive officer Nigel Paxman stating that the industry needs to be "constantly vigilant".

The Sector B and Sector C presentations during the CIBJO conference, which focused on manufacturing and technology, distribution and retail, featured a number of representatives from across the industry, who presented their thoughts on current issues. The talks were hosted by Sector B’s executive vice president and the BJA’s chief executive, Simon Rainer.

Malca-Amit’s Paxman described how security challenges in the jewellery industry are varying from country to country, city to city, and even between nearby streets. In a report on the CIBJO website, he provides examples of the daring nature of jewellery crimes today, such as the Brussels airport heist of February 2013 where US$50 million of valuables, including diamonds, were taken.

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Paxman added that criminals are becoming ever-more daring and original in their approaches to jewellery crime and said the industry should "remain constantly vigilant", in particularly when doing business with new potential clients.

New technology and software being used to halt and track down criminals that target the industry are formerly military applications, with Paxman nothing that armoured vehicles had also become increasingly sophisticated and used by the industry in recent years.

He also told companies to take heed when transporting diamonds or valuables using air freight, stating: "The airlines do not handle your goods with kid gloves in the way that we do. They throw the packages around despite them being valuables. This can cause scratches and damage to the goods inside the parcels if they are not packed properly."

Further discussions on the day focused on innovations in jewellery design and manufacturing, while Professor Marylyn Carrigan, co-director of The Centre for Trust and Ethical Behaviour at the Coventry University Business School, revealed her findings from a recent CSR study in the UK industry, reporting how many firms had been hit by a consumer backlash after being discovered to have behaved in a way that was regarded as not being in the spirit of corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Campaigner Greg Valerio spoke on the issue of Fairtrade gold and the difference it is making to the lives of artisanal mining communities. The Company of Master Jewellers’ chief executive and CIBJO Sector C executive vice president Willie Hamilton also spoke on the day, calling for a change in the attitude of the trade, in the vein of his recently-launched Just Ask campaign. He said: "The best thing to do if you want to find out is simply to ask. What are you selling, and where is it from. These are questions that you must be asking in order to be an ethical and transparent business."

 

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