Jamil Sahid Mohamed (born 1936 in Freetown, Sierra Leone) is a Sierra Leonean businessman who made millions of dollars in diamond trade. He was exiled from Sierra Leone twice amidst accusations of a coup plot in 1987 and later for war profiteering. Mohamed built his fortune smuggling diamonds out of Sierra Leone during the 1970s and 1980′s. He is widely regarded as the father of the Sierra Leone blood diamond trade. As a result of his activities he became one of the richest men in Africa. Along with Siaka Stevens, he is widely regarded to have played a major role in the destruction of the Sierra Leone economy, leaving a senseless legacy of death and poverty in his wake. Jamil Sahid Mohamed was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone to a Sierra Leonean father of Lebanese descent and an indigenous Sierra Leonean mother from the Mandingo ethnic group
Jamil Said Mohamed used Siaka Stevens, just like he did with everyone else he was associated with. Yes, he was given favours and access to lucrative business contracts, but Siaka Stevens never profited from it. Siaka Stevens gave Jamil some of these contracts because he thought he (Jamil) was helping the country.
The following has widely been written about the association between Siaka Stevens and JS Mohammed:
Mohamed found a kindred spirit in President Siaka Stevens who was equally keen to exploit Sierra Leone’s gold and diamonds resource for personal gain. In Sierra Leone’s post-colonial era, Siaka Stevens association with Jamil Sayid Mohamed would have a dramatic effect on government policy. Both of them would, for a time, count themselves among Africa’s wealthiest men.
The alliance of Stevens and Mohamed was one of convenience. Stevens had access but as a head of state he was prohibited from engaging in commerce.
And so Mohamed became a beneficiary of the kleptocracy established by President Siaka Stevens. His stewardship of the president’s personal finances made him the second most powerful man in Sierra Leone.
Together they plunged the economy of the fledgling nation in to a state of economic chaos. Mohamed encouraged Stevens to ally himself with the Lebanese merchant community who controlled a portion of the official diamond trade and also ran the majority of the unofficial diamond trade. Stevens supported illegal diamond smuggling so much so that on November 3, 1969, $3.4 million dollars worth of the Sierra Leonean government’s monthly production of diamonds vanished, allegedly at the order of Stevens and Mohamed.
The president granted Mohamed’s National Trading Company a monopoly to import more than eighty-seven commodities.And Steven’s turned a blind eye as Mohamed become the foremost smuggler of the country’s rare gems and minerals, raking in over $ 30 million dollars. Mohamed was christened the “Diamond King”.
In December 1987 Stevens was in London recovering from a stroke. He was to later learn that Jamil had not kept his side of the bargain in all the years they have been associated. In fact the house Stevens was living in, in West London was supposed to have been bought for him by Jamil Said. It turned out this was not the case. It was reported that he told Stevens, he had not put his name [Stevens] on the house to protect him. Stevens reminded him that this was two years after he had resigned from office. Stevens was reported to have confided in his grandson living with him at the house as follows: “that man has used me”. “God go pay him”