Local March 13, 2013 | 9:00 am

Artisans slam mining chief on illegal larimar exports

Santo Domingo.- The artisans of the barrios grouped in Frebadeco on Tuesday denounced the illegal export of raw larimar, which in their view threatens the country’s handicraft production.

Frebadeco president Julio Cesar Hubiera said a China-bound container with more than 25 tons of larimar was seized at Haina port yesterday, after association members followed the trucks and notified Customs, which confiscated the cargo.

He said the shipment belongs to a Chinese national named Sajil, and also involves an Indian named Saota and an American woman known as Maralago.

Quoted by hoy.com.do, the artisan said the artisans are going through tough times, because Chinese, Canadians and Indians are taking larimar by the tons, leaving the locals without the raw material.

He said the stone cannot be exported because, "only we here in the world have it, it’s unique in the world. They take not only the raw larimar, but in plates, raw, leaving only the scraps.”

Hubiera added that Mines Agency director Alexander Medina knows what’s happening with larimar after their complaint in the press in January, but has yet to act.

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