By Takudzwa Changadeya
Aljazeera’s Investigative Unit has exposed a gold smuggling syndicate between Zimbabwe’s ambassador at large and self proclaimed prophet Uebet Angel, the central bank and Henrieta Rushwanya.
The expose was carried in a documentary tittled ‘The Laundry Service’, the first of four episodes.
Angel is seen using his diplomat status to undercover investigative Al Jazeera’s journalist, Mr Stanley, passing for a potential client who could help in smuggling of US$1.2 billion into Zimbabwe from Macau and Hong Kong.
Smuggled via secret ‘headquarters’ in Dubai, the ‘dirty money’ is then used to fund further proceedings through the government owned Fidelity Printers and Refiners.
The video depicts that the central bank, Reverse Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) doesn’t have enough money to buy gold from the small scale miners, who produce approximately half of the country’s gold exports.
Under that background, Ewan “Mr. Gold” Macmillan, and Kamlesh Pattni would chip in and buy the gold from atersernal miners on behalf of the central bank, smuggle it, come back with cash (USD) and get gold selling licences in return.
This way the government, whose money has no international value, is alleged to be using the plan to bust sanctions imposed by the west.
The good thing is that the country’s president Emmerson Mnangagwa listens and is receptive and this makes illicit gold dealings become more easier, says Pattni in the video.
The video reveals a lot of documents from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and FPR to support agreements and purchases, between the government and their buyers.
This is despite RBZ Governor John Panonetsa Mangudya recently having exonerated the central bank from illicit gold dealings.
“It is particularly strange that the reports claim that through the Bank, Government is using illicit ways as a scheme to bust international sanctions placed on political leaders and government entities.
The Bank is not a sanctioned entity, and the cited individuals are not sanctioned persons either,” Mangudya said.
In the video, the self proclaimed true Prophet Angel, colluding with Rushwanya, proffers himself as a smart middle man to Mr Stanley, mooting suggestions on how the gold could be illegally purveyed.
“We have done maybe US$100 to US$300 million but not one billion per se,” claims Angel.
”Right now I can have a bag like this with US$1.2 billion and put a red tape written diplomat, that’s it.
“It is a very easy thing. It will land in Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe can’t touch it until it gets to my house.”
According to the documentary, Angel and Rushwanya, are not only officials involved in gold smuggling syndicates.