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Confidential papers raise fears over conflict gold

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Simon Bowers
London Guardian
February 26, 2014

Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of suspect gold has poured into the global markets as major breaches occurred in new international rules designed to tackle an underground trade linked to African warlords and human rights abuses.

Confidential papers shown to the Guardian by a whistleblower detail how, in 2012, one of the world’s biggest gold refineries ignored guidelines designed to stop the trade in so-called conflict gold.

It paid more than $5bn (£3bn) in cash for the metal and accepted gold from more than 1,000 customers who walked in off the street with no paperwork.

While there is no evidence that the refinery accepted conflict gold, major breaches in new guidelines were uncovered, raising concern about the history of huge volumes of shipments. Details of the damning findings have not been spelled out in full in public documents, but have been uncovered in a Guardian investigation. The leaked papers are also being reported by BBC2’s Newsnight, al-Jazeera and the campaign group Global Witness.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 5:16 am

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