GENEVA, July 25 (YPA) – The Swiss authorities have opened an official investigation into the hidden nature of the plunder of gold from conflict areas in Africa after being smuggled into the United Arab Emirates, Geneva-based European Microscope on Middle East Issues reported on Saturday.
The matter is related to smuggling gold from African countries, most notably Sudan, Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia, which represents one of the most dangerous crises these countries face because of their negative effects on their economy and depriving them of one of the most important foreign exchange resources and the customs revenue imposed on the export of gold, Tthe European Microscope added in a statement.
The European Microscope had seen the results of an investigation by two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Switzerland confirming that the Emirate of Dubai is a gateway for transporting gold in the conflict areas in Africa and transferring it to Swiss refineries.
The two NGOs published two parallel reports in which they said that “mediators are used to conceal the source of the gold, instead of obtaining it directly from the source.”
The UAE exported 149 tons of gold, worth 6.8 billion Swiss francs ($ 7.2 billion), to a country in the Alps in 2019.
The report indicates that this gold is processed by Emirati companies that do not have direct relations with Swiss refineries, which makes tracing the source of the yellow metal and ensuring its extraction under conditions respecting human rights and the environment is impossible.
It is noteworthy that an analysis conducted by “Reuters” news agency has previously found that there are operations of smuggling gold worth billions of dollars from Africa every year through the UAE, which is a gateway to markets in Europe, the United States and others.