New report published on Zimbabwe’s illicit gold trade

A report on a preliminary investigation of Zimbabwe’s illicit gold trade between 2017-19 has been published by Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW).

Based in South Africa, SARW describes itself as an independent body that advocates and promotes human rights and environmental protection in resource extraction activities by monitoring corporate and state conduct.


The primary objective of the report is to shed more light and to offer a fresh perspective on the nature and extent of the illicit gold trade in Zimbabwe.

The report attempts to come up with estimates of gold production, gold smuggled out of the country and gold smuggled into the country.

Small-scale focus

The report takes a special interest in the nature of artisanal and small-scale miners and aims to explain why establishing the true extent of the illicit gold trade numbers is difficult and recommends what needs to be done to make gold trading more transparent.

It recommends that Zimbabwe’s parliament institutes an inquiry into the illicit gold trade to highlight the domestic and foreign individuals and companies involved in the trade, with a particular emphasis on the jewellery industry and foreign gold buyers.

Institutional roles

It also recommends that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission should take an active interest in curbing corruption and illicit gold trade by examining the activities and roles of public institutions, including the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) and the ministry of mines and mining development. Gold trade issues are governed by the RBZ via its FPR subsidiary.

The report also recommends that the ministry of mines and mining development should strengthen its capacity for keeping and collating monthly gold production data and that gold incentives should be permanently abolished.

SARW’s report, Decrypting Illicit Gold Trade in Zimbabwe, can be found here.


Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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