43 Years of OppressionContents

The 6 key takeaways from the Al Jazeera Investigations the USA imposition of KYC {Know Your Customer} for their AML {Anti-Money Laundering} Legislation regarding the ‘sanctity’ of the US Dollar and its usage overseas.


14th April 2023

         Al Jazeera Episodes 1 - 4 via You Tube

Here are six key takeaways from #GoldMafia

Clean Gold? There’s no such thing

No matter where you buy your gold and regardless of the country’s stamp on it, the very nature of the gold trade makes it extremely difficult to guarantee where it originated from.

The investigation showed how gold smuggled from Zimbabwe makes its way to Dubai and, according to experts in money laundering and illicit trade, is then exported to other major gold hubs like Switzerland and London.

These transfers are possible because gold is melted and refined repeatedly, a process that obfuscates all traces of its origin, making it particularly difficult for law enforcement agencies to build evidence against suspected smugglers.

Al Jazeera Graphic ED MnangagwaThis also means it is hard to be certain if gold purchased on the open market is ethically and legally clean or whether it is free of laundering and crime. A watch might have been made with gold from a conflict region, or a bar of gold may have been mixed with smuggled gold.

Amjad Rihan, a former partner at the consulting firm Ernst & Young, was responsible for auditing Dubai-based Kaloti a decade ago when it was one of the largest gold refineries in the world. He was blunt in his assessment. “Gold that comes to refiners, once it’s refined, it’s practically brand new gold,” he told Al Jazeera.

The Currency of Money Launderers

Because the origins of smuggled gold – however dubious – can be masked by melting and refining, the precious metal is an ideal tool for money laundering.Several Southern African gold smuggling gangs offered their services to Al Jazeera’s undercover reporters, who were pretending to be Chinese criminals looking to launder more than $100m of undeclared wealth.

The gangs are based in Zimbabwe, a country that needs United States dollars because the local currency has no value in international trade following sustained hyperinflation over many years. Gold, the country’s biggest export, is a good way to acquire dollars.

Smugglers, who do not face the same sanctions scrutiny as government officials, carry Zimbabwe’s gold to Dubai, where it is then sold in exchange for clean cash. This money is transferred to the bank accounts of the money launderers, who hand over an equivalent amount of their dirty dollars to the Zimbabwe government through the smugglers.

Alistair Mathias, one of the money launderers who met with Al Jazeera’s undercover reporters, told them he has been using gold as a means to move money for several African heads of state.

“I can move as much as I want wherever I want for the most part,” Mathias said. “See, the best thing with gold is it is cash.”

‘Gold Mafia is Bigger than the government’ {of Zimbabwe}

The investigation revealed how gold is at the centre of a dark economy with roots deep in the governments of Zimbabwe and South Africa.

COP26 Nov 2021 DemoOne of Zimbabwe’s top ambassadors, Uebert Angel, appointed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to attract investments from Europe and North America, offered to use his diplomatic privileges to carry more than $1bn of dirty cash into the country. Pivotal to his plans was Henrietta Rushwaya, who heads Zimbabwe’s Mining Association and is Mnangagwa’s niece. Rushwaya told Al Jazeera reporters that they could park their cash with Fidelity, a gold refinery run by the country’s central bank, and carry an equivalent amount of gold out of Zimbabwe.

Angel and his deputy, Rikki Doolan, also tried to get the undercover reporters to open a hotel and casino at the popular tourist location of Victoria Falls, saying an infrastructure project would get the undercover reporters more clout with Mnangagwa.

“Gold is easy, but there is nowhere to cut a ribbon,” Angel said. “A politician wants to open something.”

In South Africa, cigarette mogul Simon Rudland’s money laundering partner Mohamed Khan – better known as Mo Dollars – also bought his way into two of the nation’s biggest financial institutions, ABSA and Standard Bank, and the smaller Sasfin Bank. In each of these banks, he bribed officials to help park dirty money

“The gold mafia is bigger than the government,” Khan’s brother Dawood told Al Jazeera.

The investigation also linked Rudland and Mohamed Khan to a criminal network run by the Gupta family, which a South African government investigation concluded was at the centre of state capture by select private businesses under former President Jacob Zuma. The Guptas allegedly bribed top South African officials and politicians to win lucrative deals.

‘Always have the King with You’

“Number one” is how Doolan referred to Mnangagwa. Angel and Doolan repeatedly claimed that Zimbabwe’s president was aware of their schemes and offered to set up a meeting between Al Jazeera’s undercover reporters and Mnangagwa for a fee of $200,000.

That’s just one of the many links to Mnangagwa that Al Jazeera’s investigation exposed, short of conclusively establishing his direct involvement in the gold smuggling and money laundering operations.

At one stage, Angel and Auxillia Mnangagwa, the president’s wife, spoke on the phone in front of Al Jazeera’s reporters, discussing a plan to launder more than $100m.

Kamlesh Pattni, a gold smuggler who was accused of nearly bankrupting Kenya by looting the exchequer through an elaborate scam, showed the undercover reporters text messages that he claimed were exchanged with Mnangagwa. Mnangagwa, Pattni said, “has to be informed” about the operations.

“He knows, of course, yes. But he can’t – he will not talk too openly,” Pattni said of Mnangagwa. “When you work, you must always have the king with you, the president.”

Ewan Macmillan, another major Zimbabwean gold smuggler, claimed Mnangagwa had once been his partner in crime and he had been warned not to rat on the politician when Macmillan was jailed for smuggling in the 1990s.

Finally, there was Alistair Mathias, a gold smuggler and money launderer who also partners with Macmillan and said he works for several African heads of state. Among them is Emmerson Mnangagwa, also known as ‘ED’.

“In Zim, ED is my partner. I can’t say it in public because he’s sanctioned,” Mathias told the undercover reporters.

Dubai, the El Dorado for Gold Smugglers

Dubai is one of the world’s biggest gold trading hubs. Gold smugglers and money launderers are also drawn to the city, the investigation showed. As Macmillan said: “It all comes out of Dubai. It’s all Dubai, Dubai, Dubai, Dubai, Dubai”

The City’s emergence as one of the world’s biggest investment destinations is tied to policies that have been crafted to minimise red tape and bureaucracy and to assist businesses in setting up operations there. Those policies are also what make the city appealing to white collar criminals, according to experts.

“Dubai was set up to be a financial capital,” former FBI investigator Karen Greenaway, who now works as an anti-money laundering consultant, told Al Jazeera. “They have set themselves up to be in the middle of the gold trade with lax laws and no enforcement.”

“All of those things make Dubai a great place to have something like this, a major international money laundering operation involving, in this case, gold smuggling,” she said.

Once in Dubai, the gold can be refined, and once cleansed of all traces of its origins, it can be either sold for cash transferred to the accounts of the money launderers or held by criminals as an investment.

“Everything that is gray, I take to Dubai,” Mathias said.

Banks and Bribes

None of this would be possible without the involvement of the banking systems of Zimbabwe and South Africa.

In Zimbabwe, Al Jazeera’s investigation showed that Pattni had several members of the central bank on his payroll, including Fradreck Kunaka, at the time the general manager of Fidelity, the bank’s gold refinery. Fidelity authorised smugglers like Pattni and Macmillan to buy gold from Zimbabwean miners on its behalf, documents show. And the central bank also issued letters allowing the smugglers to bring millions of dollars of cash into the country.

In South Africa, Rudland and Mo Dollars bribed officials at ABSA, Standard Bank and Sasfin Bank to help them park dirty money and then move it from South Africa to a host of front companies around the world. In the case of Sasfin Bank, Dawood, Mo Dollars’s brother, said of him: “Mohamed was CEO of that company without them knowing.”

Al Jazeera contacted the individuals and entities named in this investigation. Mathias denied that he designed mechanisms to launder money and said he had never laundered money or gold or traded illegal gold. He told Al Jazeera that he had never had any working relationship with Mnangagwa or any of the African politicians he identified to our reporters.

Rudland said the allegations against him were part of a smear campaign by an unidentified third party, and he denied any involvement in money laundering. He accepted that he had had dealings with Mohamed Khan, who he agreed “appeared” to be a money launderer, but he denied that any money laundering had been undertaken for him or his businesses.

Mohamed Khan told Al Jazeera that all allegations against him, including those of money laundering and bribery, were false and were based on speculation, conjecture and manufactured and doctored evidence.

Pattni denied involvement in any form of money laundering or bribery and denied being in communication with Mnangagwa or having any business dealings with him.

Fidelity said it was not aware of the payment of bribes to any of its staff and said Kunaka had retired. Al Jazeera was unable to contact Kunaka for comment.

ABSA said it had passed Al Jazeera’s findings on to its Forensic Investigative Unit while Standard Bank told Al Jazeera it has zero tolerance relating to fraud and criminality and would report and assist in any legal investigation.

Sasfin Bank told Al Jazeera it was taking vigorous action against suspended and former employees and clients of its foreign exchange unit and said it no longer had a relationship with any of Mohamed Khan’s businesses.

USA and Anti-Money Laundering {AML} Consequences

As of 2024, the United States government has identified Zimbabwe as one of the key areas where money laundering and other financial crimes are being committed. Due to the high prevalence of these activities, the US has decided to take targeted action against Zimbabwe to address the issue.

One of the main steps being taken is to prevent Zimbabwean individuals and organizations that have been implicated in financial crimes from using the US dollar. This includes not only those who have been sanctioned by the US government but also others who may be involved in illegal activities but have not yet been caught.

To achieve this, the US has introduced strict KYC (know your customer) requirements for anyone who wants to use the US dollar. This means that anyone who wants to hold or use US dollars must provide detailed information about their identity, their financial activities, and the source of their funds.

Those who cannot provide this information or who have been implicated in illegal activities will be barred from using the US dollar.

For Zimbabweans who have been hoarding cash, this means that they will be stuck with large amounts of US dollars that they cannot use. They will be forced to either give up their funds or try to find a way to launder their money through other means.

This is expected to have a significant impact on the Zimbabwean economy and could lead to social unrest.

While the US government's actions may be seen as a necessary step to combat financial crime, there are concerns that the measures may disproportionately impact ordinary Zimbabweans who may not be involved in illegal activities. It is essential to ensure that measures are put in place to protect vulnerable populations and that efforts are made to address the root causes of financial crime.

The investigation also exposes the involvement of high-ranking officials from Zimbabwe in smuggling and money laundering, which help the country get around the crippling grip of Western sanctions. And it identifies the global nature of these crimes, in which gold smuggled from one nation could end up in the form of cash deposited in offshore accounts of front companies halfway across the world.

Zimbabwe Economic Movement


Flyer Mk2 500x333 UAEThe impacts on the economy of Zimbabwe are only just starting to be realised in the wake of these 4 episodes. However, it is not unusual within Zimbabwe to have demonstrated, at the highest level of government, [in effect a ruthless military junta, which promotes pure self-interest of those at the ‘top’} the ongoing history since 1980 of “Institutionalised State Sponsored Corruption”.

Enforced by the ruthless Will of the Zanu PF Party and their near psychopathic leadership and military. Via oppression, torture, systematic rape, abductions & murder, of any and all opposition. Backed up by a cynical propaganda unit that manipulates all “news” regarding their Military-Political party – not just in Zimbabwe but globally.

In effect via CIO’s {Central Intelligence Operatives} handsomely funded and stationed globally {at their Embassies} to maintain the levels of blatant misinformation and to support the Zanu PF’s disinformation efforts regarding any and all criticism or opposition to their psychotic regime.

Zimbabwe is run exclusively for the personal benefit of the leaders of the Zanu PF party. It is a fiefdom, a corrupted State-Machine without empathy or any consideration for the ‘ordinary’ citizens of Zimbabwe.

A cabal of the worst order. Pure Evil.

Zanu PF has no place in a DEMOCRACY – it cannot function as a government; it has zero experience of such a function. It only knows, looting, corruption, vote rigging, murder and violence – to maintain power. The Maintenance of POWER AT ANY COST {to the Nation of Zimbabwe}.

Citizen's Reactions and Comments

 “Recent revelations by Al Jazeera of the gold smuggling mafia in Zimbabwe make a very sad reading and indeed invokes anger among the majority suffering population. No amount of political spinning or gerrymandering will justify such grand crime.”

“What comes out clear, is that the country has enough resources to make life more manageable and happier in Zimbabwe if only the management problem is resolved. To expect and to urge the current ZANU-PF Government to change direction towards good management is plain waste of our intelligence or indeed outright stupidity.”

“That the foot and finger-prints of the President are evident at every level of the gold (and other minerals) mafia means the whole government management of ZANU-PF must and ought to be relieved of power immediately.”     Gladys Hellen Meck; ZHRO Member – and Petitioner on 18th April 2023

The silence is deafening - Mnangagwa remain tongue tied while his goons loot the country. Despite serious and damning revelations of gold smuggling, money laundering and corruption against them, the silence from Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, authorities, gold dealers and banks implicated is deafening. They are tongue-tied, except for some incoherent noises.

""To the opposition, I say your job is to hold the Government of the day to account for its actions"" - TheNewsHawks. It is without a doubt that these goons are hoping that the silence will bat away the seriousness of their misconduct.

The world needs to come together in making sure that the leaders of our nations should be held accountable, this problem does not affect just Zimbabwe, it is a pandemic and it needs to be dealt with. No other African nation should fall foul to such destruction while the tyrants line up their pockets knowing as long as they keep quiet nothing will ever happen to them.

Zimbabwean people need to root out this evil, decadence, and corruption of these goons and vote overwhelmingly to oust this corrupt president Mnangagwa. The Citizens Coalition for Change -CCC has the mandate to the Zimbabwean people to speak boldly in all spheres including parliament, social media and on the ground.

While citizen are suffering the who's Who of Zanu PF’s criminal cabal were in Cape Town this month when George Guvamatanga’s daughter Rutendo had a white wedding. The wedding was kept a secret but millions of dollars were invested to entertaining Zanu PF crooks indulging in extravagant and ostentatious display of wealth, while Zimbabweans migrate to South Africa for better future. Collen Chikore - CCC Member and Demonstrator.

"As of 2024 approaches , the United States government has identified Zimbabwe as one of the key areas where money laundering and other financial crimes are being committed. Due to the high prevalence of these activities, the US has decided to take targeted action against Zimbabwe to address the issue."

"One of the main steps being taken is to prevent Zimbabwean individuals and organizations that have been implicated in financial crimes from using the US dollar. This includes not only those who have been sanctioned by the US government but also others who may be involved in illegal activities but have not yet been caught." Divine Mafa; ZEMeta.org - USA - who has already petitioned many US Congressmen and the State Department.

"Having watched all the 4 Episodes one can only come to the realisation why Africa and in particular, Zimbabwe is such a deplorable state with no functional economy and the state of the infrastructure pathetic and its citizens reduced to beggars and squatters across the globe."

"This year, Zimbabwe celebrates 43 years of what is supposed to be Independence from the colonialists and imperialists, but for most of us, it has been years of oppression, deceit and plunder of our country's natural resources by the tyranny rule of Zanu Pf and its mafia under the first and the second republic. Violence and disregard of the rule of law has always been Zanu Pf's nature."

"I urge all Zimbabweans wherever you are, to stand up and say; NO TO PLUNDER OF OUR GOLD AND OTHER NATURAL RESOURCES, FREE JOB SIKHALA AND ALL THOSE PERSECUTED FOR SPEAKING OUT. NO to Zanu Pf rule by overwhelmingly voting them out in the upcoming elections. I know others may say they have the military, the courts etc., but that should not deter us. As CCC Zambia District, we are planning to join the rest of Zimbabweans across the globe by adding our voice on 18 April 2023". By Punish Chidembo - Zimbabwean Diaspora - Zambia.

"Following the descent of the Zimbabwean economy, mis-governance and the misrule of law which has been spiralling out of control in the past years - and now the recent revelation of the unfathomable corrupt behaviour in the looting of Zimbabwean minerals by Zimbabwean government officials and their cronies, the European Chapter of Zimbabwean Diasporans and Supporters will be holding several Anti-Looting protests and demonstrations on 18 April 2023 in the following countries: Austria; Belgium; Bulgaria; Croatia; Republic of Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Ireland; Italy; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malta; Netherlands; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden. Sophia Tekwani; CCC Sweden.

""We will be naive to think that the Zimbabwean government will deal with corruption, Priscilla Mupfumira who looted $95 million from the state pension fund is coming back as Zanu PF senate candidate. They are not even ashamed they bring in the most corrupt ones so they can loot more""

Change Radio made this recent statement on Twitter: ""UK & Ireland get ready for the upcoming protest on 18 April 2023. Starting at @UAEEmbassyUK protestors are demanding the UAE Ambassador to the UK acknowledges Dubai's role in the Gold Mafia & money laundering looting & to take action. Investigate all persons involved."" Change Radio - Diaspora and Zimbabwean Media Channel