photo by jon nicholson

feature story - The Golden Laundromat

october 18th, 2018

Note: This report was published by The Sentry.

An investigation by The Sentry raises significant concerns that gold mined from conflict areas in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (“Congo”) is reaching international markets, including the supply chains of major U.S. companies and in products that consumers use every day. Documents reviewed and interviews conducted by The Sentry raise serious concern that the corporate network controlled by Belgian tycoon Alain Goetz has refined illegally-smuggled conflict gold from eastern Congo at the African Gold Refinery (AGR) in Uganda and then exported it through a series of companies to the United States and Europe, potentially including Amazon, General Electric (GE), and Sony. According to the United Nations (U.N.), conflict gold provides the largest source of revenue to armed actors in the conflict in eastern Congo, where an estimated 3.3 to 7.6 million people have died. An estimated $300 to $600 million worth of gold is smuggled out of Congo each year.

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