updated 12/8/2006 10:34:40 AM ET 2006-12-08T15:34:40

Traders in Europe’s diamond capital, the port city of Antwerp, closed their doors Friday after a dealer died during a police raid of his home.

The Indian diamond specialist suffered a heart attack after police turned up to search his house on Thursday morning.

Diamond businesses run by Indians are also planning to shut their doors on Monday, the Diamond High Council said on its Web site.

Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt met outraged members of the diamond industry on Thursday evening and has ordered an inquiry into the circumstances of the dealer’s death.

In October police raided several diamond dealers in Antwerp as part of a major investigation into suspected money laundering, although the nature of Thursday’s police search was not clear.

There are 1,800 registered dealers in Antwerp, a city through which more than half of the world’s diamonds pass, generating annual sales of $29 billion.

Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.


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