Each year, gold worth billions of dollars is smuggled out of Africa into international markets. This gold is often mined illegally, implicated in human rights abuses and used to fund conflict. It is also highly attractive as a vehicle for money laundering, fuelling organised criminal schemes linked to narcotics and other illicit activities.
In this Themis briefing note, we analyse what makes gold so alluring for money launderers and explore what is being done to regulate the global gold trade. With dirty gold circulating through the global economic system in ways that are often difficult to trace, it is imperative for businesses and consumers alike to be aware of the risks associated with this glittering commodity.