According to Bloomberg Business, gold worth a staggering $1.5 billion is being smuggled out of the country every year which in turn deprives struggling Zimbabwe income and foreign currency which otherwise would have been remitted to the central bank if it had been sold through the formal channels.
This was revealed after the International Crisis Group (ICG) conducted a research that unearthed the smuggling that is ravaging the Southern African Nation.
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ICG says the gold is being smuggled to the bullion-trading hub of Dubai and the smuggling was exacerbated by the policy in Zimbabwe that states that gold exporters can only get 70% of their proceeds in forex while the rest is converted into local currency.
A report by ICG reads in part:
Zimbabwe’s centralized gold-buying scheme underpays producers, a practice that encourages smuggling and erodes industrial mining profits, leading companies to close mines. Idle industrial mines become targets for intrusion by artisanal miners.
When contacted for comment, Mines and Minerals Deputy Minister Polite Kambamura said they were working on trying to curb the rampant smuggling of gold:
As government, we are working to minimize the costs of smuggling
The report comes a few short weeks after Henrietta Rushwaya was caught trying to smuggle 6 kgs of gold to Dubai.