Madagascar: concerns over the alarming rise in gold trafficking

Madagascar: concerns over the alarming rise in gold trafficking
Madagascar: concerns over the alarming rise in gold trafficking

Illegal gold exports continue to threaten the economy and compromise the budgetary objectives set by the government, said Mr. Rakotomalala during the signing ceremony of a partnership agreement with the Anti-Fraud Agency (Anaf) .

In this regard, he recalled the measures adopted to stem this problem, in particular through the lifting of the suspension of the legal export of gold, the establishment of a new official export process, the creation a one-stop shop for gold at Antananarivo airport and the granting of approvals to operators.

Read also: The precious vein of gold refining in Africa

Stressing that formal operators are experiencing increasing difficulties in terms of supplies from gold miners, he noted that money laundering through the acquisition of gold contributes to distorting the market.

Likewise, the minister highlighted the need to intensify the fight against this trafficking to allow formal operators to carry out their activities in a sustainable manner, pointing out that collaboration between the Ministry of Mines and the National Anti-Fraud Agency makes it possible to monitor and carry out investigations into cases of fraud linked to gold trafficking.

In 2020, Madagascar decided to suspend the export of gold to clean up the sector, limit smuggling and the lack of repatriation of foreign currencies obtained from the export of the precious ore.

The suspension was lifted in 2022, with an authorization which is accompanied by a series of measures intended to better regulate the sector, by ensuring better traceability of the yellow metal between its extraction until its export and by tightening the repatriation rules of currencies.

Gold smuggling in Madagascar causes the government to lose very significant annual revenue. According to the official EITI report in 2019-2020, the country recorded only 2,423 kilos of gold exported in 2019 and 1,778 kilos in 2020.

An investigation unveiled by the government also revealed that between 12 and 15 tonnes of gold are smuggled annually, with financial losses amounting to more than $900 million.

By Le360 Africa (with MAP)

05/13/2024 at 8:41 a.m.

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