Business News

“Gold Smuggler Allegedly Laundering $40 Million Worth of Ghanaian Gold Monthly”

The mining of gold in Ghana has been ongoing for over 100 years, but the communities where the gold is mined remain examples of poverty in the country. The lack of infrastructure, poor road networks, and chronic unemployment, particularly among the youth, are some of the problems plaguing these communities. Unfortunately, gold smuggling is rampant in Ghana, with billions of dollars being lost due to this illegal activity.

In a recent investigative report by Al Jazeera, a smuggler named Alistair Mathias claimed to be able to smuggle $40 million worth of gold out of Ghana every month, and there are many other smugglers like him. Despite occasional arrests of suspected gold smugglers, the country has done little to effectively curb their activities. Furthermore, illegal mining activities, known as galamsey, have also caused significant damage to the environment, polluted water bodies, and destroyed farmlands.

According to a 2017 report by Ghana Business News, an estimated $2.3 billion worth of illegally-mined gold left Ghana in 2016, while the country earned $3.2 billion from official gold exports in 2015. This indicates that illicit small-scale mining (galamsey) accounts for over 70% of all gold production in Ghana. Even if illegal Chinese miners are responsible for only 10% of this illegal mining activity, it still amounts to $230 million.

Last year, investigations by the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) revealed that eight gold exporting companies in Ghana illicitly flowed out over $1.1 billion between 2019 and 2021. Additionally, an investigation by Ghana Business News, part of the global FinCEN Files, found that five Ghana gold exporters contributed to Kaloti of Dubai’s $2.8 billion gold deals.

Ghana’s economy is in crisis, with the public debt exceeding sustainable levels and the country defaulting on its debts. The government has been forced to seek help from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other international partners to secure a $3 billion extended credit facility. Meanwhile, allegations by the former Minister of the Environment, Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, suggest that government officials are conniving with smugglers and illegal miners to steal the country’s gold

Gold Mafia

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