Friday , May 7 2021

Gold worth billions that had been smuggled out of Africa

Billion dollars worth of gold smugglers from Africa each year through the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East – gateway to markets in Europe, the United States and abroad, according to Reuters.

According to customs data, the UAE imported gold from Africa worth $ 15.1 billion in 2016, more than any other country, and rose from $ 1.3 billion in 2006. The total weight was 446 tons, varying degrees of purity, compared to 67 tons in 2006.

A lot of gold has not been recorded in the exports of African countries. Five trade economists interviewed by Reuters said that it shows large amounts of gold leaving Africa with taxes not paying to countries to produce them.

Previous reports and studies have highlighted black-market gold trading that has sold people, including children, who do not have connections to large businesses, and dig or advertise under small official supervision. No one can put a precise figure on the total value that leaves Africa. But Reuters analysis gives an estimate
Of the ladder.

Reuters estimated the volume of illegal trade by comparing total imports to the UAE with exports declared by African countries. The African mining companies told Reuters that they did not send their gold to the United Arab Emirates "which means that the gold coming from Africa comes from other unofficial sources."

Formal methods of gold production, known in the industry as "artisanal" or small-scale mining, are growing around the world. They have provided a livelihood for millions of Africans and help to make a little more money than they can dream of traditional deals. But methods of leaking chemicals into rocks, soil and rivers.

And African governments such as Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia complain that gold is produced illegally and smuggled out of their countries on a large scale, sometimes by criminal actions, often at a high human and environmental cost.

Artisanal Mining has started as a small time ventures. But the "romantic" era of private mining has given way to "large-scale and dangerous" operations run by foreign-controlled criminal syndicates, Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo told a mining conference in February. Ghana is the second largest gold producer in Africa.

Not everyone in the chain violates the law. Miners, some of them working legally, usually sell the gold brokers.

Realtors either fly the gold directly or trade across porous borders of Africa, blurring its origins before messengers carry it from the mainland, often in the hand luggage.

For example, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a large gold producer, but one of its official exports amounts to a fraction of its estimated production: most of the smugglers are to neighboring Uganda and Rwanda.

"This is of course worrisome for us, but we have very little leverage to stop it," said Thierry Buliki, director of CEEC, the Congolese government body that should register, value and taxes as high as gold.

Customs data provided by governments to Comtrade, a UN database, shows that the United Arab Emirates has been an important gold destination for many African countries for several years.

In 2015, China "the largest gold consumer in the world" imported gold more than Africa than the United Arab Emirates. But in 2016, the last year for which data were available, the UAE imported almost twice the value taken by China.

With the import of African gold worth $ 8.5 billion that year, China reached a distant second.

Switzerland, the world's largest gold refining center, came in third with a value of $ 7.5 billion.

Most of the gold trades in Dubai, the home of the gold industry of the United Arab Emirates.

United Arab Emirates reported gold imports from 46 African countries to 2016. Of those countries, 25 did not provide the Cochatide with data on their gold exports to the United Arab Emirates.
But the United Arab Emirates said it had imported a total of $ 7.4 billion worth of gold from them.

In addition, emirates are imported much more gold than most 21 other countries than these countries said they exported. Overall, he said it imported gold worth $ 3.9 billion, about 67 tons, more than these countries are sent.

"There is a lot of gold leaving Africa without being captured in our records," said Frank Mugyenyi, Senior Consultant for Industrial Development on Africa
The union that established the organization's mineral unit. "The United Arab Emirates is redeeming the unorganized environment in Africa."

The Dubai Customs Authority referred Reuters's inquiries to the UAE Foreign Ministry, which did not respond. The UAE Ministry of Communications has referred Reuters
The Federal Customs Authority, which also did not respond.

Not all the differences in data analyzed by Reuters necessarily indicate that gold from Africa is smuggled through the United Arab Emirates. Small differences can result from shipping costs and otherwise announced taxes, lag time between outgoing cargo and arrival, or simply errors. And analysts warn
Some of the trade, especially from Egypt and Libya, can include recycled gold.

But in 11 cases, the value per pound that the EU has declared imports is significantly higher than that recorded by the exporting country. That, said Lyons
Nedikumana, an economist who has studied capital flows in Africa, is a "classic case of export under an invoice" to reduce taxes. Matthew Solomon, an American
An economist who studied the use of trade statistics to identify illicit financial trends said the issue was worth checking. "Continuing gaps in
The trade of certain goods and certain countries … can identify significant risks of illegal activity, "he said.

Over the past decade, high demand for gold has made it attractive for informal miners to use digging equipment and toxic chemicals to boost yield.
Polluted water is returned to the rivers, slowly poisoning people who need water to live.

Small-scale reactors have a long time mercury – it's easy to buy around $ 10 for a thumb the size of a vial – to extract flcks of gold ore, before sluicing it.
Mercury's toxic effects include damage to the kidneys, heart, liver, spleen and lungs, and neurological disorders, such as tremors and muscle weakness.

Cyanide and nitric acid are also used in the process, according to researchers and reactors in Ghana.

Industrial mining companies have also been responsible for pollution, from cyanide bouts to respiratory problems associated with dust produced by mining operations. But nearly a dozen countries including DRC, Uganda, Chad, Niger, Ghana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Burkina Faso, Mali and Sudan have complained about
In the past year on the impact of unauthorized mining.

Burkina Faso banned small-scale mining in certain areas where Islamists are linked to active al Qaeda, and earlier this month the Nigerian government
Mining in the northwestern state of Zampara, and said intelligence reports established what he called "a strong and piercing link" between the activities of armed bandits and illegal miners. – Reuters

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