Al Jazeera’s investigative documentary, (Gold Mafia), has revealed a gold smuggling syndicate responsible for billions of dollars in money laundering and smuggling activities in Southern Africa.
The syndicate is made up of individuals with business networks stretching across the continent, including Ghana. The documentary exposed Alistair Mathias, a financial architect who builds money laundering schemes for corrupt politicians, as a smuggler of gold from Ghana, where he smuggles a ton of gold worth over $35 million monthly, totaling $480 million worth of gold annually.
Mathias, who claims to have been in the business for over a decade now, revealed to undercover journalists posing as Chinese criminals that he exports from Zambia and South Africa, and he urged them to set up a company in Dubai to launder their money.
This exposé reveals the involvement of Ghana in the illicit gold trade, which has been a significant problem for the country. The smuggling of gold has had negative economic implications for the country, including revenue loss, environmental degradation, and hazardous working conditions for miners.
This illegal activity also hinders the country’s ability to track its gold production and revenue, making it difficult for the government to tax the mining sector appropriately.
The Ghanaian government has tried to curb illegal gold smuggling through various policies, including the establishment of the Precious Minerals Marketing Company to control the export of gold.
However, these efforts have not been entirely successful, as smugglers continue to find ways to circumvent these regulations. The Gold Mafia documentary underscores the need for Ghana to intensify its efforts to combat the smuggling of gold, which has had a significant impact on the country’s economy and development for a very long time now.