Zimbabwe’s Ambassador-at-Large to the Americas and Europe, Uebert Angel, has been cleared of all gold smuggling and money laundering charges and his bank accounts were unfrozen after the RBZ found no criminal activity.
On Monday, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Financial Intelligence Unit revealed that his accounts, as well as those of other persons implicated in Al Jazeera’s infamous Gold Mafia Documentary, had been unfrozen.
This recent development vindicates the diplomat, who has continuously maintained his innocence since the documentary’s debut.
The Financial Intelligence Unit performed a thorough investigation and decided that Angel and the other persons named in the documentary were not involved in any financial crimes, putting any remaining concerns about their innocence to rest.
Below is the full statement released by the Finacial Intelligence Unit:
Following the broadcast of Al Jazeera’s documentary series titled “The Gold Mafia” the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) issued a directive on 31 March 2023 directing financial institutions to identify, freeze and report bank accounts and other financial assets owned and/or controlled by individuals who were alleged to have played key roles in alleged acts of money laundering and other financial crimes.
The FIU exercised its temporary freezing powers to ensure that any illicit proceeds connected to the allegations in the documentary would not be dissipated or disposed of by the persons concerned and prejudice potential future investigations.
The FIU, working in close collaboration with law enforcement agencies, has since concluded its analysis of the four episodes of the Al Jazeera documentary and has also analyzed the financial assets and transactions of the persons implicated in the documentary and has determined that there is no good cause for the freezing order to remain in place. The FIU has not identified transactions/assets linked to money laundering and related financial crime connected to the allegations in the Al Jazeera documentary.
In view of the above, the FIU has directed financial institutions to unfreeze all the accounts and other financial assets that had been frozen pursuant to the directive of 31 March 2023. The unfreezing action is without prejudice to any further investigations that law enforcement agencies may wish to commence or continue against any of the persons involved.
Some of the allegations in the documentary relate to money laundering and financial crimes alleged to have taken place outside Zimbabwe’s borders. The FIU, if so requested, stands ready and is indeed mandated to cooperate with any international investigations against any of the persons or entities mentioned in the documentary.