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Making sense of the ‘gold mafia’ documentary

There are so many elements to the Zimbabwe-South Africa gold-smuggling, money-laundering scandal exposed by Al Jazeera’s ‘gold mafia’ that it is difficult to know where to begin.

Let’s start with cigarette smuggling, which probably first happened about five seconds after the first time a government levied tax on them. Now, Simon Rudland, owner of one of Zimbabwe’s biggest tobacco processors, is accused of laundering dirty money earned from smuggling cigarettes with the help of a guy who goes by the delightful nickname of Mo Dollars, born Mohamed Khan.

Mo, the Al Jazeera story goes, has — or had — a network of compliant insiders at Sasfin, Absa and Standard Bank who would do such stuff as sign off paperwork on fake accounts, erase suspicious transactions from bank computer systems and otherwise fail to ask any questions about certain transactions.

That at least one of these characters apparently worked in a bank compliance department suggests a misunderstanding of the word “compliant”, which does not always mean yielding to someone else’s desires and especially not if the guy’s nickname is “Dollars”.

Taking a starring role in the Al Jazeera investigation is Uebert Angel, prosperous prosperity gospel pastor and “special envoy” who has a mandate from President Emmerson Mnangagwa to attract investors to Zimbabwe. He allegedly told the undercover reporters, posing as Chinese money launderers, that if they wanted gold, “there can be a diplomatic plan”.

Angel’s business partner, in turn, is Rikki Doolan, who, along with being a “husband, father, pastor and patriot”, according to his Twitter bio, also took flak for posing with an eland he shot while on a business trip to South Africa (he claims he ate the animal), and was once photographed wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with words “Jesus is mint”.

Irony much?

Source- Bussineslive

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