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Sudan seizes 241 kg of gold on suspicion of smuggling operation

SRF soldiers seize 241 kg of gold in the River Nile state on 9 May 2019 (RSF photo)
May 9, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese army’s Rapid Support Forces (RSF) seized 241 kilograms of gold produced in the Nile River State amid suspicions of smuggling.

The captured gold was loaded in a plane belonging to a Moroccan mining firm, as large amounts of gold are leaving Sudan with no taxes being paid to the authorities.

The militia forces Gen Osman Mohamed said only 93 of the 241 seized kg was cleared for export.

The RSF did not disclose the name of the company involved in the alleged gold smuggling but a Sudanese official in Khartoum told Sudan Tribune that the captured gold belongs to the Moroccan company Managem.

"Managem is operating under a license from the Bank of Sudan," he added.

The SRF said the operation "came within the framework of the great role played by the Rapid Support Forces in protecting the national economy and preserving the country’s gains and wealth".

The SRF which was established to fight rebel groups is used by the military junta that overthrew the regime of President al-Bashir to control roads and protect strategic economic sites.

In Sudan which is one of Africa’s biggest gold producers, over 50% of its annual production of informally mined gold is smuggled out of the country through the Gulf countries particularly in the United Arab Emirates, the gateway to markets in Europe.

Last year, the Sudanese authorities announced a $3 billion plan for private banks to work with the central bank to offer attractive prices to small miners in a bid to fight the black market.

(ST)