Gold Mafia - Must Watch Documentary

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2 months ago - 3 minutes read


When you know some of the characters in starring roles it does hit home how real this is.

This week Al Jazeera TV released part 1 of 3 where they investigated the gold smuggling happening in Southern Africa concentrating on Zimbabwe. The first episode is called The Laundry Service and is a must watch. Grab some coffee and sit back as this is going to be a fascinating series.

The characters involved who make up the Gold Mafia is quite eye opening for myself as I have dealt with some of them in real life and makes it even more interesting to see what they have been up to. I must admit I had no idea and had no inclinations that they were involved in this.

I actually don't blame these guys as this was all fueled by sanctions and the ability for Zimbabwe to get their hands on US Dollars. This group of people in the main were pawns providing a service and they are not the problem as they were being used because they offered a specialized service.

How it worked was certain people were given a gold licence in order to trade where they represented Zimbabwe in an official capacity. They would buy the gold from the mines in a legal capacity and take that gold to the Zimbabwe Reserve. The gold would be melted in to gold bars which they would then carry personally in their luggage flying to Dubai. Due to being "officials" they passed through customs with no worries. The gold would then be collected by a contact meeting them at Dubai Airport and there they would wait until the payment was received before flying back on the next flight. All in all taking less than 4 hours to turn around and be back in Zimbabwe the next morning.

This is very well paid work as for this service 18% was their cut and knowing they were carrying many kilograms each time was a decent payday. It is not surprising to hear that some of them never left the airport for days on end repeating the trip. One group moved over 500Kg's in one year so this was very lucrative. $100 million per month was so easy to move around.

Have they broken the law as they as individuals were providing a service bringing in much needed foreign currency for the country? You often wonder how things work and this is seriously simple.

Where the "washing machine" or "laundry" comes into play which is laundering money this is different as we all know that is illegal. Al Jazeera set up a $1.2 Billion scheme which was for the documentary purposes as it didn't happen but showed how easy it was to be facilitated. This is definitely illegal even though it had to be arranged by the genuine Zimbabwe officials and not the couriers.

The next part of the documentary being Episode 2 airs this week and is more on South Africa which will be very interesting as the key man being Simon Rudland is already in the news. His Gold Leaf Tobacco empire is affecting the taxes being earned daily as his product is being smuggled into the country each day. The Zama Zama's or illegal mining that is currently taking place kind of takes on a whole new meaning so this will open some eyes and hope it is not anyone else I know being implicated.

We all know to send gold out the country someone high up has to be over seeing this with many officials being on the payroll turning a blind eye. It is not a shock to know SA is grey listed and we shall see how bad things are this week on the next episode. I keep thinking of the 18% for literally flying back and forth and these guys never mentioned it to me lol. 6 months and one could retire never to be seen again.

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