Sierra Leone Pastor found 709-carat diamond

A Pastor from Sierra Leone finds his lucky treasure after mining a 709-carat diamond!

According to reports, evangelical preacher Emmanuel Momoh prayed for five years that he would discover the diamond he needed to pull his family out of poverty. And it seems that his prayer were answered after finding a divine treasure – a 709-carat diamond!

The 39-year -old Pastor allegedly obtained his mining licence in 2012 when the paltry income he received from the Deeper Life Church in Kono, the country’s key mining district, was stretched too thin for his growing family.

Since then, Momoh went on to build a small business of 18 employees, digging and sifting through gravel with pickaxes and hoes day after day, however failed to find gems larger than a speck in the dirt.

In an interview with AFP by telephone in Freetown, Momoh allegedly said,  “Diamonds are extremely hard to find on the ground, it requires patience, hard work and prayers.”

But Momoh’s life will now surely change after having the 709-carat diamond, a treasure he believes was a gift from God.

Meanwhile, as the preacher revealed the treasure he got, he declined to meet in person. However, pictures was provided to AFP showing  an angular, wide-eyed man wearing a suit that is too large, adding to his overall air of boyishness.

Reported further, it was on March 13 when the Pastor was was working in a village named Koryadu when a cry went up from one of his men in Krio, the most widely spoken language in Sierra Leone and used by Momoh throughout the phone interview.

“God don bless we tiday,” the worker shouted, brandishing a rock the color of pale honey and as large as a child’s fist.

“We washed the diamond properly and put down our tools. Every one of us was in a jubilant mood,” the pastor said.

“I couldn’t sleep that night, we were all praying for what God has done for us.”

Momoh took the diamond the next day to be weighed by the kind of Lebanese dealer who once purchased the single-carat gems he sold to buy food, supplies and to pay his workers’ wages.

From 706 carats, the amount later rised to 709 when the gem was being placed on the  government’s official scales, wherein as per AFP, the Pastor’s diamonds was between the 10th and 15th largest ever found worldwide, experts told AFP.
709-carat diamond
Such a find by a so-called artisanal miner, the term for workers who use basic tools or their bare hands to sift the earth, is exceedingly rare, and Momoh faced an ethical dilemma.

“I was tempted by many close friends who told me to smuggle the diamond to neighbouring Guinea Conakry,” he said, thereby avoiding paying any tax on the diamond.

Diamond smuggling has harrowing associations for many in Sierra Leone. But Momoh made a decision about the diamond. “Being a man of God, I decided to hand it over to local authorities,” Momoh said, a choice that caused a global sensation, and he was soon invited to Freetown to meet President Ernest Bai Koroma.

 The imminent sale of the 709-carat diamond was further assessed and reported as:

Being a self-employed miner with a government permit, Momoh is entitled to the proceeds of the sale which is due on April 5 in Freetown, apart from the four percent the government legally takes for valuation and export, plus an undetermined level of income tax.

Momoh, however emphasized that his workers should also benefit from what could be an astronomical sum of money.

Thus, Momoh is clear where the money he is expected to obtain from the 709-carat diamond will go. To wit, a portion will go straight back to Kono, where he was born; to develop of course his mining business, to support his family – wife and three children. Being a Pastor, Momoh has not forgotten to share it also to the local community where so many live in desperate circumstances.

Momoh has concluded, “The people dealing with the diamond,” he said, “I hope they are as honest with me as I have been with them.”

 

 

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