Zimbabwe steps up fight against gold smuggling

Stack of gold bars.PHOTO/GettyImages

At least 60 kg of gold could be smuggled from Zimbabwe to Dubai, United Arab Emirates monthly, depriving the southern African country of crucial foreign-exchange revenues, Zimbabwe’s state media reported Monday.

In an interview with Herald newspaper, Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi said an inter-agency comprising of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and law enforcement agents were working to prevent the smuggling of the precious metal.

“I was in Dubai recently and the officials there were telling us that a total of 60 kg of gold every month comes from Zimbabwe and we have to put together a team of investigators to establish where the gold is coming from,” Hodzi said.

He said the Zimbabwean government has also allocated funds to conduct training for investigators.

“We need to train investigators properly because there is also plenty of smuggling into South Africa and other countries,” he said.

In addition, Hodzi said four prosecutors left Zimbabwe for India last Friday to take up forensic studies, and another 12 were supposed to go to Italy, but their trip was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gold is illegally shipped from small-scale miners, often to Dubai and neighboring countries such as South Africa. The precious mineral has a significant role in the development of the country as it brings the much-needed foreign currency.