Smuggling costs Zimbabwe US$2 billion this year




Piers Pigou

Zimbabwe risks being classified as vulnerable to illicit financial flow and money laundering if rampant gold smuggling continues to go unchecked.

This comes as a recent Carnegie Endowment for International Peace report says the United Arab Emirates had become a major hub of tainted gold.

International Crisis Group senior consultant Piers Pigou said the country’s loss could be as much as the amounts that are formally brought in through FPR.

A report in Business Times says Zimbabwe could have lost more than US$1.8 billion in the first 10 months of the year largely due to gold smuggling triggered by payment delays for the yellow metal delivered to Fidelity Printers and Refiners.

Gold Miners Association of Zimbabwe chief executive Irvine Chinyenze said the country lost gold in the region of between 25 tonnes and 30 tonnes up to the end of October to smuggling.

Meanwhile, Skorous Investments has emerged as Fidelity Printers and Refiners biggest agent as it has delivered five plus tonnes of gold this year.

This comes as its Mutare-based office manager David Crosby is being harassed for allegedly leaning on CID director Crispen Charumbira to irregularly release one of his sub agents David Mucheche following arrest at their registered Murambi office.

Crosby is currently in remand and his lawyers are to argue that he works for a licenced gold buyer and that the arrest of Mucheche was ludicrous as he was arrested for tendering his gold to an officially registered entity.

Source – FinGaz