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'Zimbabwe a top 5 gold smuggler'

by Staff reporter
03 Jun 2024 at 04:14hrs | Views
A recent report titled "On the Trail of African Gold: Quantifying Production and Trade to Combat Illicit Flows" by SWISSAID reveals that Zimbabwe ranks among the top five African countries engaged in gold smuggling to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

According to the report, Zimbabwe trails only behind Mali in the volume of undeclared gold exports.

Despite the introduction of the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) currency, which brought some stability, prices in United States dollars remain high. The report indicates that in 2022, approximately 24,000kg of gold produced by artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM) were declared, while an estimated 78,000kg went undeclared. Zimbabwe leads the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region in undeclared gold exports, with South Africa following closely behind.

The UAE emerged as the largest importer of gold from Africa in 2022, accounting for 47% of the total imports, with Switzerland, India, and China also significant importers. However, discrepancies exist between import statistics reported by the UAE and export statistics reported by African countries, suggesting under-declaration and smuggling.

The report highlights challenges in accurately tracking gold production and trade, including incomplete, imprecise, and unreliable data. Despite efforts by African governments to control the flow of gold leaving their countries, smuggling persists, with the UAE serving as the primary destination for ASM gold from conflict-affected and high-risk areas.

Zimbabwe's gold deliveries to other countries such as Switzerland, India, and China are minimal, raising questions about the accuracy and completeness of the data. Government officials, including Mines and Mining Development minister Winston Chitando, were unavailable for comment on the report.

Source - newsday