DRC, Uganda: ‘If there is any evidence to prove that I smuggle gold, I’d like to see it’ – Goetz

By Musinguzi Blanshe

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Posted on January 20, 2023 14:44

 © Photo by TAR
Photo by TAR

Belgian gold dealer Alain Goetz was sanctioned by the EU and by extension his home country in December 2022 for trade in smuggled gold from DRC. He was also sanctioned by the US in 2021. Though sanctions largely targeted Goetz, he tells The Africa Report in an exclusive interview that they will affect countries and communities whose livelihood depend on the trade.

Goetz argues that he was targeted because he was transparent. He was a gold trader with a known office, company and address, a rarity in the industry, hence an easy target for NGOs and journalists. Goetz says no gold dealer in the region will want to be as transparent as he was for fear of being targeted.

He has United Arab Emirates citizenship and that is where he has been based for years. However, when he wishes to go to his home country, will be allowed? Goetz tells us that he hasn’t tried going to Belgium. “[It] will be weird that access will be restricted for a national,” he says. Even so, a source in Belgium, who keeps track of his activities, says Goetz tried to enter the country, but was denied access.

Goetz established his base in Uganda in 2014 after setting up African Gold Refinery (AGR). Four years later, gold had become Uganda’s leading export earner. Gold was being snuck

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