Following a gold smuggling and money laundering scheme exposed by an Aljazeera undercover unit, the government of Zimbabwe now says it will launch investigations into several people involved including high-ranking officials.
According to reports by Aljazeera, a statement released on Tuesday read, “Government takes the allegations raised in the documentary seriously, and has directed relevant organs to institute investigations into the issues raised therein.”
“Any person found to have engaged in acts of corruption, fraud, or any form of crime, will face the full wrath of the law.”
The statement added that the government was dedicated to upholding national and international law, and that “boastful behavior and name-dropping by some personalities featured in the documentary, seeking personal gain and glory, should never be taken as an enunciation of Government Policy”.
Gold Mafia, as shared on Youtube by Aljazeera, is a four-part series that shows among others one of Zimbabwe’s highest-ranking diplomats offering to launder large amounts of money through illegal gold smuggling.
In the film, Angel and his number two Rikki Doolan, also a pastor in Angel’s church, offered to launder the dirty money of Al Jazeera’s undercover reporters posing as Chinese criminals, using the ambassador’s diplomatic status. Angel and Doolan also claimed that Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa was aware of their scheme.
The money would be flown into Zimbabwe on private planes and would then be used to buy gold, which would be flown out of Zimbabwe again.
“You want gold, gold we can do it right now, we can make the call right now, and it’s done,” Angel told Al Jazeera’s reporters. “It will land in Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe can’t touch it too until I get to my house. So, there can be a diplomatic plan.”
“So, it is a very, very easy thing,” he said.
The investigation shows multiple using gold as their preferred method for laundering money, with three of them operating mainly from Zimbabwe.