LICENSED GOLD DEALERS REMAIN ON THE US WATCH LIST

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Gold smuggling and money laundering breakthrough 

Usually reliable and highly sensitive information about the smuggling of gold, drug trafficking, human trafficking and money laundering is beginning to surface. We will withhold all names for fear of compromising investigations. Travis Chase Reports.

Some of the biggest licensed gold dealers in Guyana remain on a US watch list for their role in Gold smuggling and other organized crime across the Caribbean and some parts of North America.

Authorities here in Guyana are said to be in receipt of information that some licensed gold dealers are not just dealing in gold. Information has surfaced that apart from Gold smuggling, some licensed gold dealers are involved in currency smuggling and have intricate connections with overseas criminal syndicates.

Here’s the story. One well-known Gold dealer in Guyana has been cited for Gold smuggling, and knowingly conducting a relationship with Hezbollah –an Islamist political party and militant group based in Lebanon

The group is considered a terrorist organization by the United States, Israel Canada and the Arab League.

That Gold dealer exports gold to parts of South America, USA, Canada and Dubai. That Gold dealer uses what authorities have picked up to be the Trade based Money Laundering scheme, popularly known as the TBML scheme.

The financial action task force defines Trade Based Money Laundering as “the process of disguising the proceeds of crime and moving value through the use of trade transactions in an attempt to legitimize their illicit origin.” 

Trade based money laundering schemes often rely on the complexity of global trade as a means of obscuring the true origin of the funds. Proceeds of trade based money laundering can move through financial systems as straight “buyer to seller payments” (open account), or possibly through bank trade services such as letters of credit, documentary collections, etc.

Another gold dealer is sighted for gold smuggling and currency smuggling using the Huwala method. The Huwala methodis the transfer of money without actually moving it. The most popular definition by the United States is “money transfer without money movement”. That Gold dealer is said to be well connected to criminal syndicates in Colombia.

Most of the licensed gold dealers said to be involved in illegalities are also suspected to be the financiers of a certain political party in Guyana.

Recently, the Guyana Gold board acknowledged that as of December 31,2018, total declarations amounted to 613,073 ounces which was 6.22% lower that 2017. The foreign exchange of exports processed on behalf of dealers amount to only 444 million US dollars.Nightly News has learnt that Gold smuggling contributed significantly to that deficit the Gold board has recorded

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