On Thursday, Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF) seized 241 kilograms of gold from a plane which had departed the African nation’s Nile River state, a Reuters report said.
African Gold Mines Lose Tens of Billions Yearly to Smuggling
“Our duty is now to bring this large quantity to the Sudanese central bank so that it can complete the necessary legal measures,” General Othman Mohamed of the RSF remarked and added that only 93 kilograms of the haul had been cleared for export.
Sudanese RSF officials have launched an investigation into the possible smuggling of the gold on the aircraft which was expected to land at Khartoum International Airport within hours of the seizure.
Mohamed declined to disclose the name of the Moroccan company - to which the plane is registered - that was exporting the gold or provide any further details beyond stating the illegality of the export.
Gold-mining is one of the main sources of foreign currency in Sudan, which produces around 100 ton of the metal annually.
Some 70 percent of the country’s output is estimated to be smuggled abroad.
Illegal gold mining enterprises have been smuggling gold out of the continent of Africa - from across several dozen countries - to the tune of tens of billions of dollars in unpaid taxes, annually.
Gold is mined in some 46 African countries, which are suffering significant tax shortfall from rampant illegal activities which have increased underground gold production and smuggling, a Reuters report noted late April.
The United Arab Emirates, in 2016, registered gold imports from Africa totaling more than US$15 billion, a figure which helped to record the Emirates as the largest importer ahead of China and Switzerland in 2018.
Frank Mugyenyi, a senior adviser on industrial development at the African Union, told the news agency, commented that the “UAE is cashing in on the unregulated environment in Africa.”