On 23rd July, the Miami Herald carried an excellent feature saying that Venezuelan gold production is rising dramatically — and shipments of the metal are being smuggled, often through neighbouring Colombia, into one of the world’s largest markets for gold: Miami. Law enforcement in the US and Colombia are said to be targeting US and Colombian gold dealers and refineries suspected of supporting the illicit trade. Once the smuggled gold enters the US, refiners smelt it into a purer form and sell it to Fortune 500 companies. The metal can end up in a watch, a ring, a smartphone or a car. The article details the routes the gold takes, through South America or across the Caribbean, but the article says that most of the Venezuelan gold coming through South Florida arrives at Miami International Airport in the form of crude bars, often disguised as Colombian gold and then it is shipped to precious metal dealers around the US. The article also highlights the involvement of the ELN guerrillas in Colombia, and exploitation of mine workers in Venezuela, as well as the environmental damage caused.
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