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UAE gold audits won’t be enough to end east African smuggling

By David Whitehouse
Posted on Tuesday, 16 November 2021 19:54

A Congolese miner works at an artisanal gold mine near Kamituga
A Congolese miner works at an artisanal gold mine near Kamituga in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, August 1, 2018. REUTERS/Djaffar Al Katanty

Plans by the United Arab Emirates, which require annual audits at gold refineries to ensure responsible sourcing, will in themselves do little to halt the illicit east African trade in the metal, Joanne Lebert, executive director of the Canadian conflict minerals research group IMPACT, tells The Africa Report.

This month, the UAE’s economy ministry told Reuters that it is introducing a “Good Delivery Standard”, under which refiners will have to scrutinise suppliers and provide proof to outside auditors. Previously, gold was accepted at UAE refineries, with no questions asked about its origins.

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