A Briefing from The Sentry says that gold’s meteoric rise in price has brought renewed attention to the problem of conflict gold — gold that funds armed groups and criminal networks. It is estimated that over $4 billion in conflict-affected or high-risk gold from Central and East Africa flows to international markets annually. It is said that electronics, jewellery, automotive, and financial services companies are at risk of purchasing conflict and high-risk gold from DRC, the Central African Republic (CAR), Sudan, and South Sudan via Dubai, UAE. Gold from these conflict-affected countries is primarily smuggled to neighbouring countries — namely Uganda, Rwanda, Cameroon, Kenya, Chad, and Burundi — and then exported to Dubai before ending up in jewellery or gold bars around the world. The Briefing says that the trade in conflict gold is prolific and problematic, but companies, governments, and financial institutions can pursue the identified 5 actions to have significant impact. It does say that international regulations, due diligence standards, and industry auditing programs established over the past decade to combat the conflict gold trade have significantly improved awareness of the problem – but the Briefing identifies 5 main obstacles to a sustainable solution, presenting new opportunities for governments and industry to have an impact.
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